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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: June ::
Lucrece Variants
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.11640  Thursday, 30 June 2005

[1]     From:   William Proctor Williams <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Jun 2005 10:03:45 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1161 Lucrece Variants

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Jun 2005 17:21:25 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1161 Lucrece Variants

[3]     From:   Kathy Dent <
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 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Jun 2005 21:54:44 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.1161 Lucrece Variants


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Proctor Williams <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Jun 2005 10:03:45 -0400
Subject: 16.1161 Lucrece Variants
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1161 Lucrece Variants

It doesn't have to be even as extreme as Bill Arnold suggests.  For
example, +Hamlet+ 1.5.40-41 [in some modern editions] offers us:

     O my prophetike soule, my vncle! my vncle!    Q1

     O my propheticke soule! my Vncle?            Q2

     O my Propheticke soule: mine Vncle?        F1

and this comes out as,

     O my prophetic soul!  My uncle!               Arden2

         O my prophetic soul!
     My uncle?                        Riverside, Cambridge3 & Oxford3 &
Pelican3

as well as,

     tIqwIj: leSSov vIghajlaw'! vavIoDnI'wI'!

in Klingon

How texts read, even in the finest detail, matters.

William Proctor Williams

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Jun 2005 17:21:25 +0100
Subject: 16.1161 Lucrece Variants
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1161 Lucrece Variants

Jack Heller wrote:

 >I thought of long ways of responding to this, but perhaps the
 >best way is to recommend a book, UNEDITING THE
 >RENAISSANCE by Leah Marcus.

Upon finishing this book, I'd recommend reading:

Leah Marcus "Afterword: Confessions of a reformed uneditor" in Andrew
Murphy (ed) _The Renaissance text: Theory, editing, textuality_
(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000) pp. 211-216.

It would only be overstating the case a little to say that the
experience of actually doing some editing (of the works of Queen
Elizabeth 1) appears to have made Marcus take back a lot of what's in
the monograph.

Gabriel Egan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kathy Dent <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Jun 2005 21:54:44 +0100
Subject: 16.1161 Lucrece Variants
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.1161 Lucrece Variants

Bill Arnold comments: "Written contracts are absolutely dependent upon
every *single* word and the meaning of a valid contract misread by a
lawyer can put the whole business underlying the document into question."

True, but a play is not a contract.

He then goes on to suggest: "For instance, if the usurper King Claudius
were to say in one folio "O nephew, I did not murder your father, Old
Hamlet, so what?" and in another folio with one word missing-say, found
by our illustrious Hardy, and proving my point-were to say, "O nephew, I
did murder your father, Old Hamlet, so what?" do you still hold to your
concept that textual interpretation would be meaningless?"

Leaving aside the hypothetical nature of this example, I would hold that
the rest of the play - especially Hamlet's reply to this remark and any
following dialogue that may occur in this fantasy play in Bill's mind -
would suggest the meaning of these textual variants: whether, for
example, this is a revising hand or whether it's more likely to be a
scribal or compositorial error.  Whatever discussion were to be had
about this single word variation, I contend that it would not and could
not alter the meaning of the whole play.

Kathy Dent

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