The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0883 Thursday, 5 May 2005
Date: Wednesday, 04 May 2005 15:34:03 -0400
Subject: Re: First Folio Function
If I may address directly both David Lindley and Thomas Bishop:
Mr. Lindley states: "...for example, it is demonstrable fact that the
scribe, Ralph Crane, who provided the copy for a number of F1 plays,
habitually modified the texts he transcribed".
Pardon the cliche, but "I'm from Missouri...you gotta show me". If this
is demonstrable fact then please demonstrate. While I have not read all
of what T.H. Howard Hill has to say about Crane's work, what I have read
leaves me with more questions than answers. Perhaps you can fill in some
Mr. Lindley continues: "But I would be interested to know what the
enthusiasts for using F1 do when there is also a Quarto text of a play.
On what basis do actors choose between them"?
I can't answer for all actors, only myself. I choose based on what plays
most effectively in rehearsal and performance. Directorial and audience
response are just as important - if not more important - in determining
this. If a Quarto text plays most effectively I will go with that, but
the Folio text tends to get the job most often.
Finally he adds: "I'd also be interested to know whether, even whilst
using the Folio text to work from, actors pay any attention to scholarly
work on the possible/likely origin of a particular play-text ..."
Again I can only speak for myself. I do pay attention to scholarly work
in this area but the key words for me here are "possible/likely origin".
Possible and likely are all well and good but they are not definite
proof, are they? Nor is there definite proof about what I consider to be
acting clues in the Folio text, but there has been a great deal of
"field work" onstage that supports the idea. Does one area of work
disprove the other? No. But it would seem to me that the idea that the
First Folio text contains specific acting clues is equally possible and
And Thomas Bishop says: "Must all actors therefore become textual
scholars as well? That seems a poor exchange for them".
Again, speaking for myself...I do prefer to do my own textual research.
In fact I don't find it a poor exchange at all. I rather enjoy it. And
you can only "gore my ox" if I get a stab at your sacred cow.
Kim H. Carrell
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