2003

Introduction to Matters of Editing

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2295  Friday, 5 December 2003

From:           Bill Lloyd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 4 Dec 2003 10:14:09 EST
Subject: 14.22874 Introduction to Matters of Editing
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.22874 Introduction to Matters of Editing

Here's a book on editing matters that isn't recent or available because
it's not due until July 2004, but which looks as if it will address some
of the needs of Tom Bishop's next year's grad students.  From the latest
Cambidge University Press Catalog:

*The Modern Reproduction of Shakespeare's Drama"
edited by Lukas Erne and  Margaret Jane Kidnie

"Bringing together leading scholars to examine crucial questions
regarding the theory and practice of editing Shakespeare' plays, these
essays examine how what we know about early modern theatre practice, the
author and the printer will affect modern editorial decisions. Focusing
on key points of debate and controversy, this collection makes a vital
contribution to a better understanding of editorial practice."

Contributors: Lukas Erne, Margaret Jane Kidnie, Leah S. Marcus, H. R.
Woodhuysen, Paul Werstine, John Jowett, Ernst Hongimann, Sonia Massai,
Ann Thompson, Neil Taylor, Michael Warren, David Bevington, John D. Cox,
John Lavagnino, Barbara Hodgson.

280 pp.  $70.00  ISBN 0521830958

Bill Lloyd can't wait.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Bottom, Weaving Metaphors, Language and Reality

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2294  Friday, 5 December 2003

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 4 Dec 2003 07:01:44 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.22876 Bottom, Weaving Metaphors, Language and Reality

[2]     From:   Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 4 Dec 2003 11:57:54 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.22876 Bottom, Weaving Metaphors, Language and Reality


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 4 Dec 2003 07:01:44 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.22876 Bottom, Weaving Metaphors, Language and
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.22876 Bottom, Weaving Metaphors, Language and
Reality

John Webb writes, "One of the themes in A Midsummer Night's Dream
concerns 'dream' and 'reality'. May I solicit list-members' views about
whether Bottom the Weaver, and specifically his craft as a weaver, is
fundamentally connected with this idea? This question might be
significant because Plato seemed to believe that language, and possibly
the world itself, were 'woven'. These beliefs are not confined to Plato,
though I don't know of their actual cultural origin or extent."

Interesting thread [!]: obviously, woven linen goes back to ancient
Egypt, probably as early as 3000 BC if not earlier.  Others can correct
me on this.  Indeed, there was probably a weaving tale in the ancient
Egyptian myths.  Another interesting pre-Platonic metaphor about
"weaving" can be found in the circa 850 BC Homeric tale *The Odyssey*.
Therein, the hero King Odysseus fights for the fabled return of Helen of
Troy, and then wanders lost across the Mediterranean for 10 years while
his faithful wife Queen Penelope at home in their island kingdom of
Ithaca fights off the suitors for her hand in marriage as a supposed
widow; her husband returned after twenty years.  Queen Penelope had the
suitors waiting while she pretended to "weave" a royal burial garment
for her father-in-law, Laertes [sorry: but some of these "names" and
"threads" might be seen later in the play Hamlet by Will S!].  But,
ironically, it was a ruse: every night she would unravel some of the
golden threads, so the project lingered on until the day her husband
returned and she was saved by her son Telemachus, as loyal to his father
as Hamlet.  These mythic details were later incorporated in Renaissance
art and literature of the fifteenth century, and was probably known to
the Bard!  As to "naming" it has long been taught in the world
literature classics that the ancient Homeric *names* were allegorical,
and Penelope equated with *faithfulness* and Telemachus equated with
*loyalty* and Odysseus equated with *bravery* and thus it is possible
that Will S was privy to the linkage from the ancient Greeks of
*weaving* and allegorical *naming* woven together in one *tapestry* as
was attempted by the archetypal Weaver Penelope.  Do not forget that the
anonymous Homer of these tales *The Iliad* and *The Odyssey* was
considered the archetypal *dream weaver* who employed the archetypal and
allegorical *names* which served as morality plays of the times.  They
were oral tales passed down from generation to generation.  In Homeric
times, the *abstractions* of words like *faithful* and *loyal* and
*brave* were not separated from personal pronouns as we find them
today.  Thus, faithful Queen Penelope, brave King Odysseus and loyal
Prince Telemachus were commonplace.  What a contrast we find in the
*disloyal* Claudius and *unfaithful* Gertrude!

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 4 Dec 2003 11:57:54 -0500
Subject: 14.22876 Bottom, Weaving Metaphors, Language and
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.22876 Bottom, Weaving Metaphors, Language and
Reality

The weaving myth is so ancient, good luck on tracking the origin. The
Spinners, Fates, Parcae, Weird Sisters, Moirai, Norns spun, measured,
and cut the thread of life for each individual. The four thousand year
old Gobi mummies wore garments of complex weaving patterns, pushing the
dates for that skill farther back than we'd imagined. We now realize
that the quaint fat figurines of women like the Venus of Willendorf were
wearing woven garments and headgear. The net, a woven object, is one of
the earliest appurtenances of a god. It is commonly pictured with
Aphrodite. Then it was taken over by male gods in the famous scene where
Hephaestus catches Aphrodite in adultery by using a net.
Anthropologists now posit that instead of man the mighty hunter of giant
meat, we have woman, the rabbit-catcher with her handy little net. That
pushes weaving back what?  100,000 years? A million? It's old.

As to the relationship between weaving and language and reality, I
picked this up on a quick Google of the Three Fates:
http://www.angelfire.com/journal/ravensgatekeep/thefates.html

"The original, single, eldest Norn was Mother Earth, Ertha, Urth, Urdr,
Urd, etc., who represented Fate and the Word of creation. She was Wurd
in Old High German, Wyrd in Anglo-Saxon, Weird in English. She/they
lived in the cave at the source of the Fountain of Life, Urdabrunnr, the
cosmic womb under the root of the World Tree. She/they were older than
the oldest "heavenly father: and had power over every god."

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Dramatis personae

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2292  Thursday, 4 December 2003

From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Dec 2003 06:21:43 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.2281 Dramatis personae
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2281 Dramatis personae

Jay Feldman writes, "Bill, though this goes a bit astray, I want to ask
you the following: if one were to disregard any thought or argument that
assumed knowledge of Shakespeare's intention (accepting that as fact for
the sake of this question), could one present 'Hamlet' with an evil
ghost and do so without altering a single line of text?  Awaiting your
gentle response."

D Bloom  writes, "Poisonally, I think that if Claudius had been the
illegitimate father of Hamlet (D. Dane) he wouldn't have bragged about
it."

These aren't those *gentle* lawyer-like "Have you stopped beating your
wife" rhetorical red-herrings, are they?

OK: of course they are, as taught in Law 101: to confuse the jury, the
lawyer is taught to *impugn* either the witness offering *good* evidence
or *good* evidence itself.

In both cases, in my humble and most sincere and *gentle* response
[notice how lawyer-like *loaded* this statement *IS*]: the *good* of the
play Hamlet is red-herringed by questions which *posit* the inescapable
conclusion that the *spirit/ghost* of the father of Hamlet is either
*evil* or a *cuckold*!

Both are far from the *reality* of the play: even Prince Hamlet calls
the evil Claudius a "villain" and marks him a stereotype; and calls the
good spirit of his departed father "honest" and marks him a credible
witness to a villainous crime of brother murdering brother; and as to
evil Claudius calling Prince Hamlet "son" bespeaks not a whit/wit more
than the *fact* that the evil murderer married the prince's mother and
made him a *step-son* by marriage.

Neither of the above are real enough to deserve merit of an answer,
anymore than the loaded and "gentle" lawyer-like "Have you stopped
beating your wife" question taught in Law 101.

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2293  Friday, 5 December 2003

[1]     From:   Gordon Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 4 Dec 2003 10:59:53 -0330 (NST)
        Subj:   Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

[2]     From:   Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 04 Dec 2003 13:23:19 -0500
        Subj:   Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

[3]     From:   Mac Jackson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 5 Dec 2003 14:50:35 +1300
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.22878 Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

[4]     From:   David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 04 Dec 2003 21:02:07 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.22878 Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

[5]     From:   Daniel H Spector <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 04 Dec 2003 22:34:39 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.22878 Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gordon Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 4 Dec 2003 10:59:53 -0330 (NST)
Subject:        Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

An important new book for anyone working in Shakespeare and
Elizabethan/Jacobean drama - Lukas Erne, Shakespeare as Literary
Dramatist (CUP, 2003). In essence, he argues that short Q texts are
theatrical versions, while F long texts (except Errors and Macbeth) are
literary texts, never performed (or performable) in full, deliberately
composed as reading texts.  Shakespeare (and others, especially Jonson)
were writing for both page and stage. Erne also proposes that
Shakespeare was not indifferent to publication of his plays.

Q publication is taken to be authorised and part of marketing strategy.
No memorial reconstruction or reported texts.  No stolen and
surreptitious copies, except for the 1619 Pavier Quartos.  Oxford
editors Wells and Taylor mistaken in their editorial premises in re
performance texts.

"... many of Shakespeare's [and others'] plays existed in two
significantly different forms ... On the one hand, Shakespeare produced
'authorial manuscripts,' instances of what Webster called the 'poem' and
what some title pages refer to as 'the true original copy.' On the other
hand, there were manuscripts that had undergone the company's
preparation for actual performance, what Webster calls 'the play,' or,
in other words, the text 'as it has been sundry times performed.'
Whereas texts in the former category were of a length which the actors
found impossible to reconcile with the requirements of performance, the
latter had been reduced to what was compatible with the 'two hours'
traffic of our stage.' Contrary to the theatrical scripts, the raison
d'etre of the long 'poems'. was basically literary." (Erne, 192)

The argument entails revision of the standard assumption that playtexts
were universally regarded (pace Thomas Bodley) as sub-literary.

An interesting corollary of the argument is that some of Shakespeare's
plays may have circulated in manuscript prior to printing.

We may have to revise some of our lecture notes.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 04 Dec 2003 13:23:19 -0500
Subject:        Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

Seb Perry writes:

>I was wondering whether any members of the list have read Lukas Erne's
>very recent publication, _Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist_ (Cambridge,
>2003), and what their reaction to it is. I've not seen very much coverage
>of it so far, other than a review in the TLS, but it seems to me that if
>Erne's claims are correct - e.g. that the King's Men had a coherent
>strategy for putting Shakespeare's plays into print, and that Sh. wrote his
>longer plays with a reading public very much in mind - then the
>implications for scholarship are mind-boggling. Does anyone have any
>thoughts on this?

I have Erne's book on order. So I don't know his arguments, but in the
past I've made the point over this list that a culture of books/reading
had been brewing for nearly a hundred years in England when Shakespeare
started to write his plays.

Further, if Ben Jonson thought of his plays as "Works," there's no
reason to suppose that Shakespeare could not have thought in the same
way. The fact that he seems not to have been directly involved in
publishing the First Folio does not mean that he was not indirectly
involved. We simply don't know enough about what happened to make a
judgment. Somebody revised _King Lear_ for some reason -- that's for
sure.

One great drawback of too many performance critics is their steadfast
refusal to consider Shakespeare's subtlety.  If I were to point to the
central weakness of performance critics, it's that too many of them
skate on the surface of the plays.

Ed Taft

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mac Jackson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 5 Dec 2003 14:50:35 +1300
Subject: 14.22878 Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.22878 Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

I have just finished reading Lukas Erne's _Shakespeare as Literary
Dramatist_ and agree with Seb Perry that it is among the most
significant works of Shakespearean scholarship in recent years. I think
it will take everybody a while to evaluate Erne's arguments, but if they
are judged persuasive, the book must have a profound effect on
Shakespearean textual study and on the editing of Shakespeare's plays.

Mac Jackson
University of Auckland

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 04 Dec 2003 21:02:07 -0600
Subject: 14.22878 Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.22878 Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

Seb Perry wrote:

>I was wondering whether any members of the list have read Lukas Erne's
>very recent publication, _Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist_ (Cambridge,
>2003), and what their reaction to it is. I've not seen very much
>coverage of it so far, other than a review in the TLS, but it seems to
>me that if Erne's claims are correct - e.g. that the King's Men had a
>coherent strategy for putting Shakespeare's plays into print, and that
>Sh. wrote his longer plays with a reading public very much in mind -
>then the implications for scholarship are mind-boggling. Does anyone
>have any thoughts on this?

I don't know that I would use the word "mind-boggling", but I think Erne
makes some good arguments on some significant issues.  He does a good
job of challenging a couple of ideas that have become almost axiomatic
in recent years:  1) that playing companies were uniformly opposed to
having their plays appear in print, and did whatever they could to
prevent it; and 2) that plays were written only to be performed, and
that playwrights (in particular Shakespeare) paid little or no attention
to how they were printed. Both of these have been challenged recently
(notably by Peter Blayney and Richard Dutton respectively), but Erne
brings together a lot of evidence and arguments in one place.  For
example, I liked his discussion of the publication patterns of Moliere's
plays, which shows that the acting company generally had those plays
printed not long after their debuts, while they were still being
performed, and that publication did not hurt attendance and may have
helped it.  Some of Erne's arguments are stronger than others, but in
general I think he does a welcome service to scholarship by questioning
some common assumptions and making people think about things in
different ways.

Dave Kathman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Daniel H Spector <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 04 Dec 2003 22:34:39 -0500
Subject: 14.22878 Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.22878 Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

I've browsed through Erne's book, but haven't read it cover to cover.
Richard Dutton wrote an essay called "The Birth of the Author" on the
same topic. It's in a book called _Texts and Cultural Change in Early
Modern England_, ed. by Cedric C. Brown and Arthur F. Marotti. I just
picked this book up for some research. The implications these men make
are indeed provocative. But as a performance scholar who regularly works
with actors on these texts, I must say that each play, regardless for
whom it was written, is eminently "actable" and stageworthy. While both
Erne and Dutton make interesting cases, if highly circumstantial, I am
left with a typical problem (re: provocative studies): I feel that
neither Erne nor Dutton really satisfies the theoretical or practical
implications of their work.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Sir William

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2291  Thursday, 4 December 2003

From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Dec 2003 06:48:14 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Sir William

Well, SHAKSPEReans, according to the AP (Associated Press):

"Mick Jagger to Get Knighthood on Dec. 12
Tue Dec 2,10:23 AM ET

LONDON - After months of uncertainty, Mick Jagger (news) has managed to
fit Queen Elizabeth II (news - web sites) into his busy schedule.

The Rolling Stones star said Tuesday that he will go to Buckingham
Palace on Dec. 12 to accept his knighthood."

Well, well, well.  How *nice* of him to accommodate HRH Queen Elizabeth
II.  Sir Mick!  Sure makes a *mockery* of Sir William, as in:
Shakespeare, Gent!

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.