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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
Arden3 Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0106  Friday, 3 March 2006

[1] 	From: 	Paul E. Doniger <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 2 Mar 2006 10:15:03 -0800 (PST)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet

[2] 	From: 	David Richman <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 2 Mar 2006 14:22:03 -0500
	Subj: 	the Hamlet First Published

[3] 	From: 	Tad Davis <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 2 Mar 2006 17:14:24 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet

[4] 	From: 	John Briggs <
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	Date: 	Friday, 3 Mar 2006 01:08:43 -0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet

[5] 	From: 	Al Magary <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 02 Mar 2006 23:08:06 -0800
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Paul E. Doniger <
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Date: 		Thursday, 2 Mar 2006 10:15:03 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet

Like some of the others who commented on this thread, I too wonder 
whether we need (or could even have) and "authoritative" edition of 
Hamlet. If we need one, wouldn't something like Paul Bertram's and 
Bernice Kliman's The Three-Text Hamlet: Parallel Texts of the First and 
Second Quartos and First Folio (NY: AMS P, 1991) do the trick? It 
includes all three of the major texts lined up side-by-side for comparison.

Paul D.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Richman <
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Date: 		Thursday, 2 Mar 2006 14:22:03 -0500
Subject: 	the Hamlet First Published

I hope there is something to be gained from listening to and watching a 
production of that version of Hamlet first published in 1603 and called 
by some the "bad Quarto."  I prefer to call it Hamlet's bad subversive 
elder brother.  At any rate, I will try to mount a production of this 
script here in the New Hampshire backwater come November.  I have a 
pretty good idea about some of the problems, and I have no doubt that 
more will be unearthed by my cast, company and my beleaguered self.

Cheers,
David Richman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Tad Davis <
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Date: 		Thursday, 2 Mar 2006 17:14:24 -0500
Subject: 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet

Regarding the editing of plays where there are significant variants: 
I've found the approach taken in the Norton Shakespeare to be agreeable, 
although it's not followed consistently. The basic idea is to print 
variant scenes and passages within the body of the text itself, but in 
indented, italicized format, with an explanatory note at the bottom of 
the page.

I would love to see Norton do this with Lear, rather than printing three 
completely separate texts: choose the Folio (say) as the basic text and 
print the additional passages from the Quarto inline but slightly 
offset. For Hamlet, I would do the same thing with the Folio and the 
second Quarto, and print the first Quarto as a separate text.

The Arden3 Lear and New Folger Lears tried to meld the texts with a 
complicated system of brackets. I find that distracting, but still 
preferable to printing completely separate texts.

Tad Davis

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Briggs <
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Date: 		Friday, 3 Mar 2006 01:08:43 -0000
Subject: 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet

Gabriel Egan wrote:

 >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.

Hey!  Include me out!  My objection is solely on grounds of cost (to me, 
naturally).  If volume 2 of the Arden3 Hamlet was a paperback at the 
same reasonable price as volume 1, I would buy it like a shot.  I have 
no objection to a 3-text model, although perhaps we don't really need 
another edition of Q1 - the reduced facsimile would suffice, as with the 
other plays.  (Although Q1 is generally thought to derive from the F 
performance text, it cannot represent a version that was actually 
performed.)  Editing Q2 and F separately is clearly necessary and hardly 
original: Gary Taylor edited the quarto and folio texts of King Lear for 
the Oxford Complete Works - although when Stanley Wells came to edit the 
Oxford Shakespeare single-volume edition he was only allowed the quarto 
text.

Basing the Arden3 Hamlet on the Q2 text is not surprising - that is what 
Harold Jenkins did for his Arden2 edition, although he produced a 
conflated text by including the F-only passages.  Even he recognised 
that he was producing a version of Hamlet that had never existed in 
Shakespeare's day. In praising Jenkins' edition as magisterial, David 
Levine and Thomas Pendleton are really appreciating the introduction and 
footnotes.  The text itself was out of date even before it was even 
published.  (It will be entertaining to see to what extent modern 
textual theories and modernisation practices are applied to the Arden3 
Hamlet.  I would expect the "fretful porpentine" to become a "fearful 
porcupine" in the Q2 version, and a "fretful porcupine" in the F - and 
Q1 - one.)

Gabriel Egan says that he doesn't know whether or not the versions of 
"The Magnificent Ambersons" shown at Pomona and Pasadena are extant. 
The general consensus is that they are not (the negatives of the cut 
portions were destroyed some years later) - although people continue to 
hope that a print will surface.  So his suggestion of a DVD with the 
alternative versions will remain a fantasy - we are saddled with the Bad 
Quarto.  (As my main claim to fame is comparing the Unaired Pilot of 
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" to Q1 of Hamlet, perhaps I should add that 
Joss Whedon has ruled out any possibility of a DVD release of the 
Unaired Pilot.  We have to rely on pirate versions.)

John Briggs

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Al Magary <
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Date: 		Thursday, 02 Mar 2006 23:08:06 -0800
Subject: 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0095 Arden3 Hamlet

Steve Sohmer joked:

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

I'll use my precious one-post-a-day opportunity to ask rhetorically, 
Which movie, for having Hamlet X 3 in Arden3 suggests--nay, 
validates--any film version.  Marjorie Garber, in _Shakespeare After 
All_, advances this flexible approach early (pp. 8-12) by pointing to 
but challenging the First Folio's special claim to have perfect versions 
"according to the true original copies."  She tosses against this the 
history of editorial wrestling with the text(s) since the 17th century, 
the perhaps insoluble problem of identifying the "real Shakespeare." 
Briefly comparing, as example, the Hamlet soliloquies of Q1, Q2, and F1, 
she says, "The First Folio version of 'To be, or not to be [that is the 
question]' will doubtless strike most readers and hearers as more 
'Shakespearean' than the First Quarto's 'To be or not be--I, there's the 
point.'  But each is in some way 'authentic.'  And neither, strictly 
speaking, was written by Shakespeare."  (p. 11)

No surprise, then, that "[l]ate-twentieth-century and 
twenty-first-century directors...have noted the playability of the First 
Quarto (2,160 lines) as contrasted with the much longer Second Quarto 
(3,732 lines) and First Folio (ca. 3,500 lines), and experimental 
productions based upon the First Quarto have been successful with 
audiences.  Each production is an interpretation....'fidelity to the 
text' is balanced with what works on the stage..."

We live in the age of relativism, or at least pluralism.  While we in 
the West may be dismayed by instances of this, daily we see in the 
headlines violent protest in the "East" against the moral decadence 
attached to the abandonment of the search for absolutes and the lovely 
wedding of the sacred and profane.  Arden3 is a natural product of the 
times.  To be condemned?  By what standard can we do so?  To rail 
against either Arden3 or the times is to wander lonely on the moor in 
foul weather.

I don't envy the task of the Arden editors, Ann Thompson and Neil 
Taylor.  Theatrical directors have it easy in that they mount temporally 
unique productions and don't have to set down for a generation of 
students, scholars, readers, and playgoers a canonical performance.

Cheers,
Al Magary

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