The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.145  Monday, 2 April 2012


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

Date:        April 1, 2012 12:05:55 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Lear


I learned a couple of things over my many decades of arguing. The first is that arguing generally won’t change the mind of the person you’re arguing with. But then again it may have some impact on the opinions of folks standing around watching the fight. I’m having too much other fun today and the sky here in Maine is brilliant blue, calling me out to ride my bike, so I can’t spend a lot of time just now on Gerald Downs’s very serious (and nicely witty) responses to my irreverent and slangy comments.  But in the meantime for a start let me suggest that folk check into opinions about John of Bordeaux other than Downs’s. He proposes that manuscript is a “remarkably accurate” document that supports the whole project of memorial and/or oral-via-shorthand rather than direct scriptorial(?) transmission.


>The text of John of Bordeaux, phonetically transcribed throughout, 

>is remarkably accurate. Some object that readers must agree with 

>my conclusion that the play is a shorthand report before they can 

>accept the implications I describe; that’s true. But I’m willing to put 

>my arguments and the textual evidence to the test.


One might look at Grace Ioppolo’s DRAMATISTS AND THEIR MANUSCRIPTS . . .esp. pp. 120-1 for a less fantastically speculative analysis of what that manuscript represents.  And to clear some of the sour taste of the dyspeptic reviews he cites of my really quite jolly REVISION OF KING LEAR book, I invite readers to taste the book itself rather than the unhappy refluxes of the book’s (few, maybe five out of thirty-plus total number) bitterly negative reviewers.  


More about this some later time, though. I’m out to ride in the sun.


Steve Ur-bike-owitz


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