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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: August ::
WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0543  Monday, 20 August 2007

[1] 	From: 		John Drakakis <
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	Date: 		Friday, 17 Aug 2007 15:45:01 +0100
	Subj: 		RE: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

[2] 	From: 		Terence Hawkes <
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	Date: 		Saturday, 18 Aug 2007 13:56:19 +0100
	Subj: 		SHK 18.0538 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Drakakis <
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Date: 		Friday, 17 Aug 2007 15:45:01 +0100
Subject: 18.0538 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0538 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

I'm not clear about what you mean by a 'fact' Joe. How would I recognise 
it if it were wholly 'other' as you suggest. He dialectic of history is 
a very different matter altogether, and I don't think that Hawkes would 
want to deny that. Rather, he emphasises the position from which we come 
at 'history'.

But you've set me a particular task apropos the Merchant of Venice, and 
you can see what I've done with your question when the Arden 3 edition 
finally gets into the public domain.  Yes, Q1, Q2, and F all print 'Old 
Gobbo' but the question is: is 'Gobbo' what Shakespeare wrote, or was it 
'Gobbe' (there is an example of this speech prefix in sheet B)?  Or 
might it even have been 'Iobbe'?  We know that Roberts' compositors 
encountered a series of type-shortages while setting Q1, one of which 
involved a series of substitutions of italic cap 'I' sorts, that also 
affected the sp 'Iewe' and probably resulted in the change from 'Iewe' 
to 'Shy(l).'  The evidence is bibliographical here and doesn't have very 
much to do with authorial intention. Shakespeare himself may have been 
indifferent about which of these latter 2 alternatives he used. 'Gobbo 
/Gobbe/Iobbe (and in F3 in Lancelet's speech 'Job') is a different 
matter. Could the compositor have read a secretary hand 'e' as 'o'? Or 
did Shakespeare 'intend' this character to represent the Italianate Job 
(Giobbe). There are judgements to be made here, but one thing is fairly 
certain: the Lancelet's father is not a veiled reference to a 
hunchbacked Elizabethan official, because he doesn't have a hunched 
back...he is 'sand-blind'.

Now do you see where I'm going with this Joe?  I shuttle backwards and 
forwards between the empirical evidence that I have accumulated and an 
interpretative (i.e. 'presentist') account that would try to make sense 
of that evidence. I'm afraid that 'presentism' requires us to walk and 
chew gum at the same time!

Cheers,
John D

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Terence Hawkes <
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Date: 		Saturday, 18 Aug 2007 13:56:19 +0100
Subject: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare
Comment: 	SHK 18.0538 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

John Drakakis argues that King Lear is not about football. Oh yes it is. 
Kent's comment in 1, 4, 83 makes a serious point about the social and 
moral status of the beautiful game. In context, the court relationship 
to popular culture is confined and rigidly narrowed. Lear finally rids 
himself of that shame. Let America follow suit. If King Lear is spurned, 
what chance does David Beckham have?

Terence Hawkes

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