The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0225  Tuesday, 5 June 2012


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

Date:         June 4, 2012 11:30:44 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: Shorthand Example (Egan, Davidson)


Gerald E. Downs presents a bunch of evidence that the manuscript of Robert Greene’s John of Bordeaux (Alnwick Castle Manuscript 507) was created by expansion of a stenographic recording made during a performance.


Downs says that he has been “preaching that a big ‘clinching textual example’ [of stenographic reproduction] does exist”. That is, Downs claims he has an example of a textual feature that can ONLY be explained by stenographic recording.  He then lists a lot of features of John of Bordeaux that point to stenographic recording, or perhaps memorial reconstruction. But he doesn’t identify any of them as the clinching textual example.


Downs says that Gabriel Egan “must disagree with [his] conclusion that the playtext is transcribed from stenographic notes”. Gabriel Egan doesn’t; Egan reviewed the article favourably saying that the claim was plausible but not proven, for want of a clinching textual example.


Gerald: which bit of evidence do you think clinches the argument? One example will do. Twenty-five non-clinching examples won’t.


Gabriel Egan


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