Vickers One King Lear

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.176  Wednesday, 4 May 2016

 

[1] From:        Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 4, 2016 at 1:21:55 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: Vickers One Lear 

 

[2] From:        Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 4, 2016 at 2:10:15 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: Vickers One Lear 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 4, 2016 at 1:21:55 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: Vickers One Lear

 

King Lear’s crux at 5.3.47 has attracted more confused scholarly attention than any other passage because it seems to indicate that Q1 directly influences F. In the not-too-distant past, F was thought to utilize Q1 as printer’s copy in conjunction with an authorized playbook, which was possible only because Q1, as a printer’s convenience, was an unusually good reported text.

 

As it became increasingly clear that F was partially dependent on Q2 (1619), Q1’s place in Lear’s transmission ironically began to assume greater importance. In short, Two-texters dated F from 1608; but if Q1 itself were eliminated from F’s stemma, the 1623 text might (did, when editorial belief elbowed in) essentially derive from authorial foul papers before their use as Q1 printer’s copy. In which case, no matter how F developed, Shakespeare’s is the meaningful presence and Lear’s scholarly schism can be crazy-glued.

 

5.3.47 became the critical focal point. Inquiry involves corrected and uncorrected Q1, Q2, F, foul papers, manipulators, and the manipulated. I’ve given it some thought, though it's not important to one who believes Q1 evidence indicates that Q1 copy and Q1 are memorial, highly corrupt, and F’s ancestors. But the crux is interesting.

 

Sir Brian Vickers (The One King Lear) has no stake in the phrase; he believes Q1 copy comprised the whole of the text as it is imperfectly transmitted in F. In his view, the foul papers were not revised more than incidentally; there’s no threat to authorial presence or to the play’s integrity, even though the authorial archetype engendered separate texts that were reunited in F. Still, Vickers discusses the crux in an arbitrary manner that can only confuse the “close reader”:

 

“[Greg] noted instances where the Folio reproduced readings found in the [quarto], which showed that the copy or copies used by Jaggard's compositors must have contained a mixture of corrected and uncorrected sheets. A telling example of their reliance on an unreliable source is Edmund’s deceitful explanation for having had Lear and Cordelia sent to prison. In the corrected state it appears in this cramped form:

 

    Bast.   Sir I thought it fit,

To send the old and miserable King to some retention, and ap-

Whose age has charmes in it, whose title more, (pointed guard,

To pluck the common bossome of his side      (K4v21–24)

 

The three italicized words ending the second line and partly turned down into the line following are found neither in the uncorrected sheet nor in the Folio, even though, as Greg put it, ‘They are necessary to the verse, and it seems impossible to doubt their authenticity.’ The Folio compositor was evidently using a defective copy of the Quarto” (18).

 

Now, in a later chapter Vickers cites Richard Knowles to assert also that “Both F compositors obviously derive their substantive readings from elsewhere—i.e., from a manuscript, not from Q1 or Q2” (One Lear, 196).

 

But Knowles had a bit more to say. Of Compositor E: “Before Lear he had worked almost wholly from printed copy; the number of literal errors in his work suggests that he had some trouble reading from the manuscript copy for Lear, and as an aid continually consulted printed copy, the Second Quarto (Q2) . . . . Both F compositors therefore, in different degrees, repeated alterations made by . . . Q2, which is our last identifiable source of changes in the text of F. . . . Compositor E adopts several times as many of Q2’s accidentals as does his more experienced co-worker . . . . Obviously compositor E consulted Q2 constantly, and consciously or unconsciously adopted its readings . . . . [He] constantly resorted to the earlier printed edition for guidance in reading and interpreting his transcript” (Knowles, “Evolution,” 144–145.)

 

Evidence and common sense indicate that F Compositor ‘E’ would derive substantive readings from Q2, as he depended heavily on its punctuation and his work otherwise was with printed copy. Stone makes the case and Blayney acknowledges use of Q2; Knowles and Vickers resist the obvious.

 

However, despite E’s use of Q2 for F ss2, its version of 5.3.47 includes ‘and appointed guard,’ and Q2 is properly lined (though much of Edmund’s speech remains hypermetrical; F omits his last irregular lines, part of which seems important.) F followed Q2 neither in the lineation of the crucial line, nor in its inclusion of ‘and appointed guard.’ 

 

Greg concluded that the uncorrected Q1 sheet K was followed by F, on the grounds that an authorized manuscript (playbook) would preserve the phrase and proper lineation for the compositor, had he consulted it. Gary Taylor saw the omission as primary evidence that F’s revision was based on Q1.

 

Vickers rejects Q1 influence in general but apparently accepts Greg’s inference that Q1 was responsible for F’s identical treatment of 5.3.47. He doesn’t attempt analysis or explain his contradictory opinions to reconcile the passage to his own theory that Shakespeare’s draft Q1 copy was also the basis for F’s manuscript printer’s copy. How did the coincidental agreement of Q1(u) and F come about?

 

I agree with Stone’s analysis (134, 151, 237, & 251!), as far as it goes. But Stone seems not to be fully aware of the possible effects of foul proofing, though he does explain several problematic passages by miscorrection before stop-press correction, which is the same thing. Blayney also resorts to retrograde analysis of miscorrections; he would be more on the lookout than Stone.

 

Stone plausibly proposes that F copy was influenced by the corrected forme of sheet K and that F omitted ‘and appointed guard’ purposely to preclude the reading or hearing of ‘whose age’ in reference to ‘guard,’ instead of to Lear. He observes that Q1 still seems to influence F with the corrupt ‘To send the old and miserable King to some retention,’ which I take as a miscorrection in foul proofing of like cause to those suspected by Blayney and Stone. Q1 is plagued by eyeskip omission, whose restorations are mislined (in my opinions). If ‘To send the old and appointed guard,’ resulted from eyeskip, the corrector’s instruction to restore ‘and miserable King to some retention,’ may have been misunderstood, whereby ‘and appointed guard’ was replaced (Qa). That would call for a second correction, which was done by tacking the phrase to the end of the overlong line (Qb). If that is the case and if Stone is right about F, the omission from both texts is a true coincidence (different causes) but the mislineation was a complex printing-house error. Right or wrong, unbiased analysis (close reading) is to the unbusy its own reward; this crux isn’t important to Lear’s textual history, which is decided elsewhere.

 

Gerald E. Downs

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 4, 2016 at 2:10:15 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: Vickers One Lear

 

John Briggs observes:

 

Neither Sir Brian Vickers nor Gerald E. Downs seem to understand the term ‘Revise’. A ‘Revise’ ( term means ‘review’) was in the 17th century . . . the term for a further ‘proof’ requested to see that corrections had been carried out, er, correctly.

 

I am likely to misconstrue bibliographical terms. Sir Brian uses the term only once.

 

Just as the proof was checked against copy, the Revise was checked against Proof. You only called for a Revise if there were a lot of corrections and/or you didn't trust the compositor to carry them out correctly. The Revise was not intended as a second proof, and . . . was not the occasion for further corrections. It became a second proof, of course, if the corrections hadn’t been properly carried out - a further revise would then be required.

 

This fits my conception and Blayney’s description pretty well. A Q1 proof sheet in the uncorrected state with which scholarship is familiar was then (in effect, if not technically) a ‘revise’ to be checked against the foul proof. The natures of the text and the compositors ensured the need for additional correction, both to see if instructions were followed and to check further. But copy seems not to have usually been consulted.

 

When a revise became a ‘second proof,’ as it usually did, the corrected state was the next revise. Blayney identifies some probable miscorrections. However, my point was that the number of sheets with proof markings was not what determined the variants from the editorial standpoint, as Vickers seemed to think.

 

We don’t know who carried out ‘foul proofing’ for either Quartos or Folio, but they would presumably have checked the proof against copy. The ‘stop-press’ corrections during presswork don’t seem to result from proofreading against copy. Those few sheets with correction marks that were later incorporated in finished copies seem to result from this stop-press correction - it is perverse to call them ‘revises’.

 

Agreed, usually no copy at stop-press (as I understand it.) But if F was foul proofed, as Blayney asserts, and as I see some evidence, I wouldn’t have objected to the surviving sheets with correction marks being called ‘revises’ by the definitions I’ve read. I wouldn’t refer to them by that term now, given my inexpertise and “correction.”

 

Gerald E. Downs 

 

 

The Tempest and Colonialism

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.175  Wednesday, 4 May 2016

 

[1] From:        Pervez Rizvi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 4, 2016 at 3:24:10 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: The Tempest and Colonialism 

 

[2] From:        Kristina Sutherland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 4, 2016 at 10:46:52 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Colonialism 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Pervez Rizvi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 4, 2016 at 3:24:10 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: The Tempest and Colonialism

 

Larry Weiss wrote: ‘What is as old as recorded history is conquest and subjugation, which is not the same thing as “colonialism” as it is usually understood in this “post-colonial” world.’

 

Francis Fukuyama famously theorized that history ended in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. I think Larry may be on to an equally brilliant thesis, that history began in 1616, moments after Shakespeare died. I'll even help him by writing a poetical opening to his essay. So, with apologies to the shade of Philip Larkin, here goes:

 

History started

In sixteen-sixteen

(As can now be seen)

Between when Shakespeare departed

And his memory was still green.

 

(Anyone curious should Google Larkin’s poem Annus Mirabilis.)

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Kristina Sutherland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 4, 2016 at 10:46:52 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Colonialism

 

Dear scholars,

 

While The Tempest is hardly within my realm of studies, I thought I would send in a few thoughts I have about the subject of colonialism within.

 

The first is that yes, Prospero was kind to Caliban until his attempted rape of Miranda, and we may see his treatment within the play as just desserts, but Ariel has apparently faithfully served Prospero and the following exchange takes place in Act 1 Scene 2:

 

Ariel: Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains,

Let me remember thee what thou hast promised,

Which is not yet perform'd me.

 

Prospero: How now? moody?

What is't thou canst demand?

 

Ariel: My liberty.

 

Ariel is not just a servant for Prospero. He owes him his life and this seems to have made him Prospero’s slave, even though the arrangement is temporary. This promise of liberty is referred to a few more times within the text, as Prospero or Ariel continue to discuss the exchange of labor for freedom, either by themselves or with each other. The idea seems clear to me that it is not enough for the full year promised to pass - Ariel wants freedom earlier, and Prospero wants all of his tasks done before freeing his servant. Freeing Ariel is literally the last thing that Prospero does before the epilogue.

 

There is also the later exchange in 3.2 when Caliban tells Stephano “I am subject to a tyrant, a sorcerer, that by his cunning hath cheated me of the island.”

 

Shakespeare also didn’t have to go far back into history to look at the relationships between Europeans and people in foreign, “discovered” lands. Montaigne’s essay, Des cannibales, and Jean de Léry’s Histoire d’un voyage faict en la terre du Brésil were rather recent.

 

Sincerely,

Kristina Sutherland

 

 

 

A Matchless Allusion to Romeo & Juliet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.174  Wednesday, 4 May 2016

 

From:        Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 3, 2016 at 4:31:48 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Allusion

 

I suppose Arnie Perlstein is suggesting that the lyricist of Fiddler on the Roof might at one time or another seen or read Romeo and Juliet.  Strange as that might be, it is not entirely implausible.  \

It is also conceivable that he was somehow familiar with York’s line in Richard II, II.iii.85: “Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle.”  I marvel that Arnie left it out.

 

 

 

Michael Lok

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.173  Wednesday, 4 May 2016

 

From:        Sidney Lubow <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 3, 2016 at 11:16:49 PM EDT

Subject:    Michael Lok

 

Does the name Michael Lok mean anything to anybody, if I can see the name MiCHAEL LOK in it?

 

https://www.geni.com/people/Michael-Lok/308598315100003804

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Lok

 

Sid Lubow

 

 

 

Length of Posts

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.172  Wednesday, 4 May 2016

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Subject:    Length of Posts

 

Dear Subscribers,

 

It has been suggested to me again that there be a limit on the number of words in each submission.

 

Yesterday’s Newsletter had some very on posts, and I myself was responsible for not editing down one that was submitted to me from an outside source. 

 

I have no intention of counting words; however, like pornography I know a long post when I see it. Form now on, excessively long submissions will be returned, and the submitter will be asked to shorten it before I will distribute it to the list.

 

Sincerely,

Hardy M. Cook

Editor of SHAKSPER

 

 

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