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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
Arden3 Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0095  Thursday, 2 March 2006

[1] 	From: 	John-Paul Spiro <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 01 Mar 2006 16:27:16 -0500
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0083 Arden3 Hamlet

[2] 	From: 	Steve Sohmer <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 1 Mar 2006 21:14:11 EST
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0083 Arden3 Hamlet

[3] 	From: 	Gabriel Egan <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 2 Mar 2006 12:02:56 -0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0083 Arden3 Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John-Paul Spiro <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 01 Mar 2006 16:27:16 -0500
Subject: 17.0083 Arden3 Hamlet
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0083 Arden3 Hamlet

I see no problem with an edition that lets readers make their own 
choices.  I too like Jenkins' Arden 2 Hamlet, even though there are 
words in it that do not occur in ANY edition of the play.  Every line 
reflects Jenkins' careful decisions, but that's just the problem.  A 
definitive Hamlet is a fantasy; if Shakespeare wanted us to read a 
definitive Hamlet, he didn't bother to leave us one.

We still need editions like Jenkins' because we have different purposes 
as readers, teachers, and scholars.  There's nothing wrong with reading, 
say, a translation of the Odyssey, and in fact there is much to be 
gained.  There is more to be gained from reading two or three 
translations.  There is even more to be gained from learning Homeric 
Greek and reading the "original," and there is still more to be gained 
from considering the questions regarding the textual history of the poem 
itself.

The work of reading all three Hamlets is worthwhile, even if it's not 
for everybody.  If you want someone else to do the work for you, Jenkins 
has probably done that work better than anyone else.  But that doesn't 
mean that Arden shouldn't facilitate the everyday reader or student who 
wants to take on the challenges of reading the Hamlets without Jenkins' 
judicious cutting and pasting.

John-Paul Spiro

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Steve Sohmer <
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 >
Date: 		Wednesday, 1 Mar 2006 21:14:11 EST
Subject: 17.0083 Arden3 Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0083 Arden3 Hamlet

Me, I'm going to wait for the movie.

Steve

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Gabriel Egan <
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Date: 		Thursday, 2 Mar 2006 12:02:56 -0000
Subject: 17.0083 Arden3 Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0083 Arden3 Hamlet

John Briggs, David Levine, and Thomas Pendleton are in agreement that 
the forthcoming Arden3 Hamlet is a bad thing. Their reasons are various, 
but united by an objection to the 3-texts model for editing. Pendleton 
puts it like this:

 >It seems to me almost perverse to operate from a position
 >that effectively judges that there are three different plays
 >called Hamlet and that the "real Hamlet" is Q2.

I wonder why that seems perverse, since one might genuinely believe that 
(lamentable as it is) there are three effectively different plays here. 
To take a modern parallel, it is well known that after the disastrous 
preview at Pomona, Orson Welles's film _The Magnificent Ambersons_ was 
edited (some original cuts restored, some new cuts made) and the result 
shown at a second screening in Pasadena. Apparently at this stage it was 
still nearly 2 hours long, and after the Pasadena screening it was cut 
to the 88 minutes (again, mostly cuts but also some newly-made shots 
inserted) with which most of us are familiar.  Whether or not the 
versions shown at Pomona and Pasadena are extant (and I don't know if 
they are), the situation regarding the differences between these 3 
artistic objects would seem to require a model of presentation that 
acknowledges their distinctiveness. Were a new DVD being prepared, I 
should imagine that a 2-disk set with all three versions would be 
considered ideal, although doubtless of limited interest beyond the 
specialists. The non-specialist isn't prevented from seeing the 
more-cheaply available standard 88-minute version.

Pendleton goes on:

 >The worst result is likely to be that this new Arden edition
 >will eventually replace Harold Jenkins' magisterial Arden 2
 >edition

Well, libraries and readers will still have their copies of Jenkins's 
edition, so it's not a matter of 'replacement' as 'supplement'.

 >which is probably the closest we will ever get to an
 >authoritative edition of Hamlet.

Each person is entitled to her preferences about what goes into an 
edition, but surely Jenkins's book now looks oddly uninterested in the 
play in performance.

Gabriel Egan

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