The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.187  Monday, 14 May 2012


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

Date:         May 10, 2012 12:36:53 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Peds


I can help Gerald E. Downs on a few points of detail:


>> William Montgomery's 1985 Oxford D. Phil. thesis . . .

> Sounds like something I would have to pay for.


There’s a national state-funded project (EThOS) to make all UK doctoral theses available for free over the Internet to all readers, but it hasn’t got around to Montgomery’s yet. The 36-page section “II The Text” is all one needs for this debate, and I’ll happily send my scan of it to anyone who wants it.


>> "Foucault's epistemic shift and verbatim repetition in

>> Shakespeare" that appeared in Richard Meek, Jane Rickard,

>> and Richard Wilson's book /Shakespeare's Book/ (Manchester

>> UP, 2008): 123-39.


> I'll look that up if only to see what the title means.


The Wikipedia page on “Michel Foucault” is a good starting point, and it has a pointer to the Wikipedia page on “episteme” which itself has a most useful section on “The Concept of an ‘Episteme’ in Michel Foucault”. The idea is also explained in the essay itself, the full text of which can be had by putting its title (“Foucault’s epistemic shift and verbatim repetition in Shakespeare”) into a web search engine. The links returned should point to a copy on my website and another in the Institutional Repository of my employer.


The back-and-forth about Cairncross can be dispensed with quite simply. Taken to task by J. K. Walton for his faulty interpretation of variants between early editions, Cairncross confirmed his adherence to the principle that “identity of reading implies identity of origin” (“Dr Cairncross’s Answer” Review of English Studies new series 10 (1959): 139-40).  There’s no point continuing discussing variants with someone who thinks that’s true, and Walton didn’t.


> I seem to recall the word "blunder" and reference to a

> principle of some sort. I don't have the book at hand.

> Perhaps G. Egan can cite it for us.


The word “blunder” appears nowhere in my book, The Struggle for Shakespeare’s Text. The closest match is “blindness”, as in “Cairncross’s blindness to the principle that only agreements-in-error are strong evidence” (p. 253). That restates the principle too. Nothing contentious there, I think.


Gabriel Egan

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