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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: September ::
WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0617  Monday, 17 September 2007

[1] 	From: 		Gabriel Egan <
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	Date: 		Friday, 14 Sep 2007 16:20:21 +0100
	Subj: 		Re: SHK 18.0610 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

[2] 	From: 		Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 		Friday, 14 Sep 2007 14:47:36 -0400
	Subj: 		Re: SHK 18.0610 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Gabriel Egan <
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Date: 		Friday, 14 Sep 2007 16:20:21 +0100
Subject: 18.0610 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0610 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

John Drakakis wrote:

 >Where there are different texts (quarto, folio) then one
 >cannot avoid speculating.  BUT textual bibliography
 >STARTS from the actual marks on the page, but not from
 >what they 'mean' in a literary sense.  We add that at a
 >later stage, though we continually short-circuit the
 >process in practice.

W. W. Greg like to claim that one did not even need to understand the 
language of a book to do the bibliographical work of figuring out what 
went wrong in transmission. His celebrated example was in the essay 
"Bibliography--An apologia" _The Library (=Transactions of the 
Bibliographical Society)_ Fourth series (Second of the Transactions of 
the Bibliographical Society) volume 13 (1932-3) pp. 113-43. Greg showed 
that a space had worked its way up within the locked-up forme to make a 
spurious apostrophe-like mark before the word "young" in _The Elder 
Brother_. This told Greg that the edition that actually did have a real 
apostrophe was a reprint of the one with this accident in it, rather 
than the other way around.

As Lorene Pouncey pointed out ("The fallacy of the ideal copy", _The 
Library (=Transactions of the Bibliographical Society)_ Fifth series 
(=Third of the Transactions of the Bibliographical Society), volume 33 
(1978), pp. 108-18), Greg's claim that he could do this determination of 
priority without reference to meaning was untrue: it relied upon his 
knowledge (as a reader of English) that "'young" (that is, the word with 
an apostrophe before it) is meaningless in English.

I confess I don't understand your argument about Innogen/Imogen, John. 
That a married couple Leonato-and-Innogen pair exist elsewhere in the 
canon (in ADO, as you say) surely strengthens the case that in CYM the 
couple are Leonatus-and-Innogen, not Leonatus-and-Imogen.  I know you 
don't want to reveal too much of what we'll buy your MV edition to 
discover, but I can't see anything feminine in the obsolete Scottish 
word 'maistrice', yet you write that your emendation "responds to the 
gender(ing) question that the line raises". You say 'maistrice' 
recommends itself as a "homophone" of 'maistres', but Q1-MV doesn't read 
'maistres', it reads 'maisters'. Moreover, to value a homophone is to 
give credence to a sound-alike consideration (as opposed to a 
look-alike), and this surely isn't permissible unless one has other 
reasons to suppose that the text was transmitted as sound at some stage 
on its way to Q1.  Perhaps you have other, as yet undisclosed reasons to 
suppose that.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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 >
Date: 		Friday, 14 Sep 2007 14:47:36 -0400
Subject: 18.0610 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0610 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

 >The problem is compounded because elsewhere in the
 >quarto master is sometimes spelt 'maister', and this spelling
 >occasionally occurs in Spenser also.

"Maister" is more than an occasional variant.  I have recently had 
occasion to read many of the apocryphal plays in Brooke's diplomatic 
reprint of the quartos.  The word appears frequently in those plays and 
is almost always spelt "maister."

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