2005

Possible King Lear Emendation

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0697  Wednesday, 13 April 2005

From:           William Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 12 Apr 2005 12:34:51 -0400
Subject: 16.0683 Possible King Lear Emendation
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0683 Possible King Lear Emendation

"Neither Arden 2 nor Arden 3 see a difficulty with the line and, without
any problem that emendation might solve, it is surely right to leave F
as it is," writes Duncan Salkeld.

And I think he's absolutely right.  The "till" suggestion should remain
just that, a suggestion, and not lead to an emended text of Lear.

Bill Godshalk

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Ukrainian and English in Latvia

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0696  Wednesday, 13 April 2005

From:           SL Kasten <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Apr 2005 09:13:59 +0200
Subject: 16.0688 Ukrainian and English in Latvia
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0688 Ukrainian and English in Latvia

Larry Weiss writes,

 >If he left in 1940, it was the Bolsheviks, not the Nazis, he was running
 >from.

In Sept. 1939 Hitler indeed allowed Russia to occupy the independent
Baltic states as well as the Eastern half of Poland.   I have friends
who by virtue of foresight, based on previously stated attitudes
emanating from Nazi Germany and an estimation of the relative power of
Russia and Germany, and with the means to act on that foresight, got as
far from Germany as possible, weathering the war in Uzbekistan.  Thus
"the Bolshies" were not the problem, but the means of escape.  This of
course worked if you were a Jew.  If you were a political person the
Russians deported you to Siberia or as Churchill put it "a more distant
place."

 >Was this when the Nazis entered in 1941-42?

By this time it was too late.  The fate of Latvian Jewry along with the
Lithuanians who had fled northward was sealed and well documented.  For
the anti-communists it was too late in any case.

Without contradicting Terence Hawkes comments on lively discussion, I
would like to comment that John Velz is an unworthy object of sarcasm.
Velz has always been a kind gentlemanly and instructive and generally
valuable element on this list.  Shame on you, Larry!

I think Weiss has promise, but he should make a deeper study of the wit
of T. Hawkes, who, I think, must throw away much more than he uses.

Best wishes,
Syd Kasten

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Allen and His Supermarket

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0694  Wednesday, 13 April 2005

From:           Stefan Andreas Sture <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Apr 2005 10:18:06 +0200
Subject:        Allen and His Supermarket

Would you consider Allen Ginsberg's "A Supermarket in California" a
prose poem? It certainly looks like one.

[Editor's Note: I think this query a bit far a field and should be
answered privately.]

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Dating Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0695  Wednesday, 13 April 2005

From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Apr 2005 09:51:42 +0100
Subject: 16.0677 Dating Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0677 Dating Hamlet

Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 >>Obviously after 1400, as cannons are blasting off right left and centre,
 >>so that makes it (leave aside China) somewhere in Western Europe in the
 >>15thC or later.
 >>
 >Right.  It occurred at about the same time as Julius Caesar, after
 >clocks were invented.

I think the question of the significance of anachronism versus the
temporal setting of a play has to be treated on a case-by-case basis,
and oddly enough, Caesar's clock is about the easiest instance to deal with.

Virtually the entire audience of +Julius Caesar+ would have at least a
general idea of when the action was supposed to take place.  Certainly
mechanical clocks (though not, for example, water clocks or other modes
of telling the hours) didn't exist in 44 BC, so a clock striking the
hour in that particular play is a *simple* anachronism, though not one
which is particularly significant, I feel.

More complex is the question of the New Testament allusions (he who
betrayed the best, for instance) in +The Winter's Tale+, in a play
seemingly set in a clearly pre-Christian time-oracles from Apollo, when
the oracles were supposed to have ceased at the moment of Christ's
birth, for goodness sake!  Add to that the sea coast of Bohemia (is
there a term for geographical "anachronisms"?) and the figure of
Autolycus who could have stepped straight off the Jacobean street and
onto the stage, and you have a play which is deliberately dislocated
from any fixed temporal or geographical locale.

+Hamlet+ is something else again.

It's obviously not set when Saxo Grammaticus' original telling was, in a
pre-Christian time, so an appeal to the source is ruled out.

And now we come back to Larry's clock.

Cannon at the beginning and soldiers being bid to shoot -- what are they
shooting, arrows in the air? -- at the end.  The play makes a fair point
of this, guns and gunpowder.

Mechanical clocks were the least of the four major innovations which
were seen as distinguishing the past from the present, Us Now and Them
Then.  The other three, The Big Three, were the printing press, the
magnetic compass and-gunpowder.

[My thanks to Norman Hinton for correcting me on the date of the origin
of the use of gunpowder in Europe, but we're still looking at about the
fourteenth century on.  Most significantly -- think of the fop who
Hotspur describes near the beginning of 1HIV -- gunpowder was
*recognised* as "recent".]

Where there are no overt indications (as there are in +Julius Caesar+)
as to the temporal location of +Hamlet+, the (assertive) presence of
gunpowder in the play is surely significant.

Then there's Wittenberg, where Hamlet studied.

The university was founded by  Frederick II of Saxony in 1502.

Perhaps equally important, the Wittenberg association would be
relatively fresh for the original audience, with the first performance
of Marlowe's +Doctor Faustus+, shortly followed by an English
translation of the Faustbook, barely ten years before +Hamlet+ was written.

Gunpowder and Wittenberg imply (to put it no more strongly) that
+Hamlet+ would be taken by its original audience as set in a
(relatively) recent point in time, certainly that rather than the remote
past.

Then there's the political situation at the end of the play, where
Denmark is left with no direct lineal ruler and the throne passes to a
relative from a neighbouring country -- who but our cousin of Norway?

Admittedly, Elizabeth's comment wasn't made until after the play was
written and performed, but the succession question was very much in the
air, with James as the obvious and favoured candidate.

Robin Hamilton

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EEBO

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0693  Wednesday, 13 April 2005

From:           JD Markel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 12 Apr 2005 11:01:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.0682 CFP: EEBO in Teaching & Research
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0682 CFP: EEBO in Teaching & Research

I won't be writing a paper, but for others who may I have some minor
complaints from a user standpoint that might be addressed.

EEBO is a fantastic resource, no doubt.  However the searchability of
the texts by terms is not represented well, maybe even misrepresented,
the latter at least by secondary promotions.

EEBO texts are variously promoted as "searchable." Not directly on the
EEBO site, but in some secondary promotional materials, EEBO is promoted
to imply that all the texts are searchable.  I properly assumed
searchable were the complete texts, and I think others would too.

If one digs into the EEBO site, one finds this is not so.  Therein
mentioned is a "separate initiative" to digitize 25,000 of the EEBO
texts into ASCII - that is, fully searchable formats.  Confusingly also
mentioned is that 3,000 of the texts are now so digitized.  Which are
they?  There is no guidance from the EEBO search page.  Also, this
digitization of the full texts into ASCII appears to be not a project of
EEBO but a group effort of member institutions.  The mechanics of this
effort is ill-explained.

Given that the texts are not fully searchable, what are the parameters
of the searches available?  Author and title are obvious search terms,
but EEBO also supplies a "Keyword" function.  Who picks the "keywords"
and what are the protocols for determining them?

As I said EEBO is a fantastic resource, but I think the searchability
limitations need to be explained and apparent to the user.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

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