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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: April ::
New Shakespeare 'Works
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0294  Thursday, 19 April 2007

[1] 	From: 	Peter Holland <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 10 Apr 2007 15:32:08 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0282 New Shakespeare 'Works'

[2] 	From: 	Tad Davis <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 10 Apr 2007 21:02:04 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0282 New Shakespeare 'Works'

[3] 	From: 	Sean King <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 11 Apr 2007 00:00:36 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0282 New Shakespeare 'Works'

[4] 	From: 	Julia Crockett <
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	Date: 	Sunday, 15 Apr 2007 11:36:37 +0100
	Subj: 	Article by Jonathan Bate Ed. RSC Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Holland <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 10 Apr 2007 15:32:08 -0400
Subject: 18.0282 New Shakespeare 'Works'
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0282 New Shakespeare 'Works'

Does anyone understand the comment in the article about Lady Macbeth 
being 'not quite as vindictive'?  Since F1 is our only early text of 
Macbeth, what can be different?

Peter

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Tad Davis <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 10 Apr 2007 21:02:04 -0400
Subject: 18.0282 New Shakespeare 'Works'
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0282 New Shakespeare 'Works'

The UPI report suggested a change in the character of Lady Macbeth in 
the new RSC Shakespeare. I'm not sure how the reporter came by that 
conclusion: the only text for "Macbeth" is the First Folio, so there's 
not a lot of leeway there.

Speaking of the First Folio, the report misses the thing that is truly 
remarkable about this new edition: its adherence to that text, for 
everything from the wording of passages in individual plays to the order 
of printing those plays. Quartos and octavos are taken into 
consideration in specific passages, but overall the Folio takes precedence.

Not everyone will agree with this editorial decision, but Jonathan 
Bate's general introduction, along with supplementary material on the 
web, makes a strong case for it. The idea, as I understand it, was to 
provide a "snapshot" of the text at one point in its evolution rather 
than creating a hybrid text that may never have existed. Rather than 
reconstruct the text as Shakespeare wrote it, the editors try to 
reconstruct the text as it entered the printshop.

I'm excited by this new edition, and I hope the resident experts of 
SHAKSPER will find it worthy of discussion. I'm not a scholar, but I'm 
fascinated by textual problems and the process of editing Shakespeare. 
(How could I not love an edition where old Hamlet's "pollax" remains the 
pole-axe of an impatient king, banged against the ice in frustration?)

Tad Davis

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Sean King <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 11 Apr 2007 00:00:36 -0400
Subject: 18.0282 New Shakespeare 'Works'
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0282 New Shakespeare 'Works'

 >"RSC Shakespeare Complete Works"

The Editors' Blog is at

http://palgrave.typepad.com/rsc/

Clicking the banner, or "Home", leads to the project's main page.

S.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Julia Crockett <
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Date: 		Sunday, 15 Apr 2007 11:36:37 +0100
Subject: 	Article by Jonathan Bate Ed. RSC Shakespeare

Dear SHAKESPEReans,

  http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,2055764,00.html

Cheers, Julia

A man for all ages

According to many critics of his time, Shakespeare was vulgar, 
provincial and overrated. So how did he become the supreme deity of 
poetry, drama and high culture itself, asks Jonathan Bate, editor of the 
first Complete Works from the Folio for 300 years

Saturday April 14, 2007
The Guardian <http://www.guardian.co.uk>

In the spring of 1616, Francis Beaumont and William Shakespeare died 
within a few weeks of each other. Beaumont became the first dramatist to 
be honoured with burial in the national shrine of Westminster Abbey, 
beside the tombs of Geoffrey Chaucer and Edmund Spenser. Shakespeare was 
laid to rest in the provincial obscurity of his native Stratford-upon-Avon.

We now think of Shakespeare as a unique genius - the embodiment, indeed, 
of the very idea of artistic genius - but these two very different 
burial places are a reminder that in his own time, though widely 
admired, he was but one of a constellation of theatrical stars. How is 
it, then, that in the 18th and 19th centuries Shakespeare's fame 
outstripped that of all his peers? Why was he the sole dramatist of the 
age who would eventually have a genuinely worldwide impact? There are 
two answers: availability and adaptability.

In the same year that Beaumont and Shakespeare died, Ben Jonson became 
the first English dramatist to publish a collected edition of his own 
plays written for the public stage. Seven years later, Shakespeare's 
fellow actors John Hemings and Henry Condell followed with their 
magnificent Folio-sized collection of Mr William Shakespeare's Comedies, 
Histories and Tragedies, Published according to the True Original 
Copies. Whereas Jonson's works got only a single reprint after his 
death, Shakespeare's Folio was reprinted three times before the end of 
the century. And through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, there was a 
major new edition of his Complete Works once every 20 years or so.

Shakespeare thus quickly became more available than his contemporaries - 
though the text in which he has been transmitted since the early 18th 
century has not been that of the Folio authorised by his own players. 
Shakespearean editors have adopted a "pick and mix" approach, printing 
some plays in the text of the Folio and others in the variant texts of 
the little quarto-sized volumes published in Shakespeare's lifetime. 
Astonishingly, the new RSC Complete Works, published next week, is the 
first since 1709 to be based primarily on the Folio, to offer an edition 
of the iconic book in its own right.

[ . . . ]

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