Possible Lost Submissions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.113  Wednesday, 13 March 2019

 

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

Date:        Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Subject:    Possible Lost Submissions

 

Dear Subscribers,

 

I accidentally deleted a bunch of files in, my Editor account. I have tried to recover all of today’s submissions; but if you do not see a message you sent, please resend it.

 

Apologies,

 

Hardy

The Shakespeare Canon and NOS

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.112  Tuesday, 12 March 2019

 

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

     Date:         March 10, 2019 at 7:13:17 PM EDT

     Subj:         Re: NOS 

 

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

     Date:         March 11, 2019 at 8:56:12 AM EDT

     Subj:         Re: SHAKSPER: NOS 

 

 

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

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

Date:         March 10, 2019 at 7:13:17 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: NOS

 

This is not exactly a priming-the-pump, new thread that Hardy recently asked for. Yes, it’s about NOS—but before your eyes glaze over and you curse the tech that has caused all this, let me suggest something for Gabriel Egan and Pervez Rizvi, in particular, to address: what do you agree on when it comes to authorship issues? If you were locked in a room and told to produce a new Complete Shakespeare (or else), could you do it?

 

Looking forward to being unbaffled,

Al Magary

 

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

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

Date:         March 11, 2019 at 8:56:12 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: NOS

 

Dear SHAKSPERians

 

David Auerbach has mistaken my description of erroneous logic for an adherence to that logic. In my essay “A History of Shakespearean Authorship Attribution” in the New Oxford Shakespeare Authorship Companion I describe the danger of establishing an author’s typical range on a feature that we can count and then making attributions by seeing which other works fall within that range. The danger is self-confirmation: as we add new works to the canon these ranges can only increase, so yet more works fall within them.

 

Auerbach writes at length about what is wrong with such a use of ranges, as if he were disagreeing with me when, in fact, he repeats the very point I was making.

 

Regards

Gabriel Egan

 

 

 

Q1 Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.111  Tuesday, 12 March 2019

 

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

     Date:         March 10, 2019 at 2:05:37 PM EDT

     Subj:         Q1 Hamlet 

 

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

     Date:         March 10, 2019 at 5:39:14 PM EDT

     Subj:         Re: SHAKSPER: Q1 Hamlet 

 

[3] From:        Jim Carroll <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         March 10, 2019 at 8:33:22 PM EDT

     Subj:         Re: Q1 Hamlet 

 

[4] From:        Brian Vickers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         March 11, 2019 at 6:55:57 AM EDT

     Subj:         Q1 Hamlet 

 

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

     Date:         March 11, 2019 at 6:22:27 PM EDT

     Subj:         HAMLET Q1 

 

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

     Date:         March 12, 2019 at 2:16:02 AM EDT

     Subj:         Re: Hamlet Q1 

 

 

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

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

Date:         March 10, 2019 at 2:05:37 PM EDT

Subject:    Q1 Hamlet

 

I read Brian Vickers’s post on Q1 Hamlet with interest and growing disagreement. I have similar questions to Gabriel Egan’s on methodology and classification of results. I hope it will be differently useful, though, to report my doubts about the logic and plausibility of the case Brian’s making. 

 

Logic: Very simply, when he questions Maguire’s approach to the 1603 quarto, saying

 

"How can we put Q1 Hamlet on 'an equal footing' with Q2, of which it is an attempted clone?"

 

and referring to Q2 as “the authorised edition” he is assuming (it seems to me) and using as part of his argument that which the argument seeks to demonstrate.

 

Another point in this area where I have an issue is in Brian’s citations of the two quarto title-pages. where he tells us that Q2 is “firmly stated to be ‘By William Shakespeare. Newly imprinted....etc and goes on within thirty words or so to talk of replacing Q1 with “the authorised edition.”. By juxtaposing the authorial attribution and the notion of authorisation so closely he seems to be invoking the attribution as the thing that gives authority to the new edition. But Q1 also attributes its text to William Shakespeare, in the same place and similar prominence (immediately following the title before any other copy), a piece of information Brian has not given us (he has also left out the statement about it having been performed at the two universities and ‘elsewhere’). If Shakespeare’s name as author ‘authorises’ Q2, then logically it ‘authorises’ Q1 as well. Scholars may argue for the inferiority of the Q1 text, but one can’t invoke WS’s name on Q2 as part of a demonstration of any perceived Q1 inferiority and Q2 superiority. 

 

I do not understand the logic by which the n-grams and collocations listed on Brian’s website are here regarded as indicators of actors’ memories being contaminated by other repertory items while in other cases lists of n-grams and collocations are regarded as proof of common authorship.

 

The figure of Marcellus will provide a useful transition from questions of logic to questions of plausibility. Brian reminds us that scholars endorsing the notion of Q1 as reported text have based that endorsement in part on “sequences of high accuracy (derived from one actor still having his original ‘part’)”. The favourite candidate is the player of Marcellus, as we’re reminded, and Brian suggests that he is “the most accurate reporter (probably because he had access to his own ‘part’)----my emphasis, to indicate that the argument has shifted from certainty to only likelihood. Given the conclusion that Brian comes to, that the postulated reconstruction in Q1 was carried out by a group of actors, it seems illogical to place so much emphasis on Marcellus’s role in the operation, when the doubling-package (Marcellus/Voltemand/Mousetrap actor) is inherently implausible. Marcellus exits at the end of the first scene, Voltemand is one of the characters who enters at the very start of the second scene: there is no time for any change of costume to indicate that the actor has changed persons: as far as I’m aware, any scholar attempting to construct a doubling pattern in any play allows at least a few lines for an actor to change personae. In addition, this doubling-pattern makes no sense------why leave an actor unused through the entire second half of the play?-----and is not consistent with what we can deduce about doubling-practice from the surviving stage-plats and from the marked-up manuscript of the King’s Men’s own Believe As You List, where doubling actors take different roles over the whole span of the play. It seems illogical to highlight this implausible combination of Marcellus’s roles when Brian’s hypothesis no longer requires it and when its implausibility weakens the case made by some parts of the scholarly tradition.

 

 

Plausability: My fundamental problem with a theory of memorial reconstruction, of this play or any other, by one reporter or a group, is simply that I don’t know of any external, documentary, evidence that such a process took place in the early modern period, no anecdote, no allusion in a play or pamphlet. The theory allows for convenient explanations of difficult scripts and thus removes any need for actually engaging imaginatively with such scripts: but as hard evidence the script is what we have and we are bound to see if we can make sense of that script theatrically before invoking a hypothesis to explain its difference from another version of a play. In the case of Q1 Hamlet, I indicated above the difficulty with the long-held idea that the Marcellus-actor was a reporting agent. The case Brian is proposing, viz. in “a collective reconstruction made, for whatever purpose, by members of the King’s Men [recte Lord Chamberlain’s Men] in the spring and summer of 1602” is fraught with difficulties. 

 

1. “All the actors who had played major roles---Hamlet, the King, Gertred, Corambis, Leartes, Ofelia, the Player and the Gravedigger----were involved in the recreation of the text.” Though we have no contemporary cast list for the play, we do know from the anonymous 1619 elegy that Hamlet was one of Burbage’s signature roles and what cast-list evidence we have for other plays indicates that major roles would be taken by sharers, leading members of the company. Even though one might propose a different list of major roles (add Ghost? drop Gravedigger?) one would still have a list for Q1 that would have included half-a-dozen of the company’s leading and most experienced actors. We are being asked to believe that none of them could remember their parts with sufficient accuracy to produce a closer or more correct version of a popular, recognizable play that was no more than three years old and probably less.

 

2. Famously, some events happen in a different order in Q1 from the Q2 and F versions. We are asked to suppose that these same leading actors between them could not remember the order of scenes in said popular, recognizable play..

 

3. The most accurate reporter in this consortium is Marcellus “probably because he had access to his own ‘part’.” We are asked to suppose that Burbage and other sharers did not retain their own ‘parts’, or at least could not access them. Do we suppose at the end of a season or even performance the documents had to be handed back until the play was next scheduled, and that not even the sharers could have sight of them? (They ordered these things differently, it seems, at the Admiral’s, where presumably Alleyn retained his script as Greene’s Orlando, to have it turn up centuries later in the Dulwich papers......)

 

4. William Shakespeare was still active as an actor in 1602 (his last recorded performance was in Jonson’s Sejanus in 1603). If there was a need to construct a version of Hamlet, surely the author would be an obvious person to include in the project.

 

5. I don’t know whether Brian accepts the theory (originally Greg’s, I think) that Q1 of Richard III was the result of a group reconstruction. It’s the only example I can think of where an exercise similar to thisHamlet Q1 hypothesis has been proposed by anyone. Presumably originating from the same core of  actors, or overlapping cores of actors, only a few years previously, the variance between the text of Q Richard and its F equivalent is completely different from the variance between Q1 Hamlet and the longer Q2 and F versions. I can’t believe that the same process using (many of) the same people could lead to such different results.

 

6. Absent external evidence, reticence or agnosticism presumably deter Brian declaring what circumstances led to the reconstruction he postulates----that is the force of his phrase “for whatever reason”, but the argument needs some indication of what led up to the reconstruction process. The argument would also need to take into account why the succeeding longer version (Q2) was entrusted to one of the publishers of the ‘unauthorized’ quarto. These indications could not be evidence or proof, but they might increase the plausibility of the account Brian gives. At the moment, I can’t envisage a path that convinces me it would lead to a collaborative reconstruction in ‘02 by major players in Shakespeare’s acting company.

 

Last to final point: while Irace’s ‘94 and ‘98 work has evidently validated the m.r. theory in Brian’s mind and doubtless others, agreement has not been at all universal. Bourus has several telling pages in YS’sYH (40-58) on its limitations and on other work (by Menzer and Marino) that counters Irace’s findings. Bourus concludes that the “errors of logic and evidence” in Irace’s work (and also Petersen’s) “are endemic to all nineteenth- and twentieth theories of memorial reconstruction.” That’s why she doesn’t additionally address Duthie or Hart. If there are arguments in their work that are not enfolded or implicit in Irace, I would be glad to hear them summarized.

 

Final point: there is a big gap between positions on Q1, and I’d like to think it’s bridgeable but fear it’s not. On the one hand, proponents of the idea that it is a seriously corrupt text: as far as I can see, their only interest in the book is in trying to identify the medium and agent(s) of corruption. On the other, holders of a position that there is no ostensible reason to assume derivation or inferiority in the book: for them (again, as far as I can see) their interest takes in the book’s publication history and the affects and performativity of the text it contains. I guess I lean much more towards this group, thinking that we can get to a certain point in describing and relating the three early Hamlet versions to one another, but that without further evidence (unlikely now to be forthcoming) we must remain agnostic, accept that we have three versions, and see what we can make of each of them. For me, the late-teen/early-manhood Hamlet that Q1 gives us makes a lot of narrative sense. That doesn’t solve all the problems people have found in Q1 but it seems a fruitful road in. But I am passing now beyond comment on Brian’s reading of Q1, beyond my purpose, and must thank Hardy and all SHAKSPERians for reading and considering this long post.

 

Gerald Baker

 

I was about to send this when Sunday’s digest landed. Apologies if there is any duplication and also to Messrs Brigges, Krause and Urkowitz for not acknowledging their posts.

 

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

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

Date:         March 10, 2019 at 5:39:14 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Q1 Hamlet

 

On the question of shorthand recording of plays being played, have a look at my “‘Stolen and Surreptitious’: Heywood as a Test Case.” Early Theatre 17 (2014). 134-145, for a demonstration.

 

William Proctor Williams

 

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         March 10, 2019 at 8:33:22 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: Q1 Hamlet

 

Thomas Krause said (I assume (I hope) sarcastically):

 

Brian Vickers' analysis seems to remove all doubt that Q1 is some sort of a memorial reconstruction and can't possibly date to 1587, given all the “borrowings” from post-1587 Shakespeare plays.

 

So let me get this straight. If a phrase appears in multiple Shakespearean plays, such as

 

Gentlemen and friends, I thank you for your pains. Shrew 3.2.184

 

I thank you for your pains: Cym 1.6.203

 

that we are now supposed to view this as evidence of some other author “borrowing” a phrase from the later Cymbeline, and that therefore Shrew was written by someone else other than Shakespeare, and written after Cymbeline?

 

OH MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING GIVING THIS GUY IDEAS?????

 

Jim Carroll, Sir Nobody, Esq.

 

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         March 11, 2019 at 6:55:57 AM EDT

Subject:    Q1 Hamlet

 

Letter to SHAKSPER 11.3.19

 

Gentle SHAKSPERians,

 

I thank all the correspondents for their comments on the first of my three posts on the evidence of Q1 Hamlet being a reported text. I shall reply to them all in due course, but in the meantime please note the following corrections and additions. The heading to part 1 should read “40 non-Shakespeare plays”, not 35; that to part 1 should read “25 Shakespeare plays, not 19. Please delete item 2.96 and insert the following three additional matches:

 

2.99 My lord, 'tis not the sable suit I wear    03 Hamlet

         Let sorrow in a sable suit appear      98 Robin Hood 

 

2.100 For woe begets woe, and grief hangs on grief  03 Hamlet

         Woe above woe: grief more than common grief  91 3 Henry VI 

 

2.101 No, nor the spangled heavens                               03 Hamlet

Even from the fiery spangled vale of heaven         87 2 Tamburlaine

Then was the spangled vale of heaven drawn in    92 Knack to Know a Knave

 

Gabriel Egan seems to have had difficulty understanding how my data is organised. To dispel any confusion that he may have created, I repeat my explanation that I worked from Pervez Rizvi’s database, which contains over 53,000 n-grams

 

shared by Q1 Hamlet and the 526 other plays performed between 1552 and 1657. I have concentrated on the first 5,000, and given priority to unique n-grams, verbal matches occurring only twice in the corpus – that is, in this text and only one other -- which are the most reliable form of evidence. Some of the matches occur 3 or 4 times elsewhere, but I have only included phrases within the relevant period (1587-1603) that are echoed for the first time in Q1.

 

Egan objects: “If he confined himself to matches ‘in this text [Q1 Hamlet] and only one other’, how come he includes matches found in three or four plays?”. I didn’t say that I was giving only unique matches, but that I had “given priority to unique n-grams”. That does not preclude giving matches that are only rare (occurring three or four times elsewhere) rather than unique (twice only) Further, I never claimed to have listed every instance of a rare match, and I freely admit that my concentration may have occasionally lapsed as I worked through the first five thousand matches on Rizvi’s list. For the phrase “relate the circumstance” (1.4) I cited its occurrence in Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy (1587): Egan cites another instance from Heywood’s How a Man may Choose a Good Wife from a Bad (1601), which is no. 1607 in Rizvi’s list. For “hapless son” (1.8) I cited two occurrences in The Spanish Tragedy: Egan cites another instance from Yarington’s Two Lamentable Tragedies (1594), which is no. 3360 in Rizvi’s list. For “sad and melancholy” (1.1), I cited an occurrence in Lyly’s Campaspe (1588): Egan complains that the phrase “seems to occur in Lyly’s Endymion …  but is not mentioned by Vickers.” So it does, but had he looked a bit further he would have found it cited in in my list at its chronological place, 1.17. That error apart, I thank Egan for these two additional supplementary instances and hope that he will continue his searches in EEBO-TCP, which may well increase the evidence that the reporters of the unauthorised edition of Hamlet recalled many phrases from earlier plays.

 

Vigilate et orate!

 

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         March 11, 2019 at 6:22:27 PM EDT

Subject:    HAMLET Q1 

 

A quick anecdotal history of my HAMLET Q1 findings might be useful, since like so much revolutionary or even against-the-grain academic argument the social narrative often illuminates the actual content or findings. The idea that Shakespeare drafted and revised his plays should not seem particularly extreme, but many “establishment” editors over the past forty years (Hi again, Brian) have treated that “revision” hypothesis like a dangerous heresy.  

 

For example, one groundbreaking essay pointing out the individual coherence of alternative versions of a Shakespeare play was rejected from publication at a major journal. The rejection carried the note, “This essay must never see print anywhere.” One of my own pieces, later printed elsewhere, gained the sneering comment, “This kind of thing must be discouraged” (emphasis in original). Fredson Bowers and I both presented papers during a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Furness Library. We had a very pleasant dinner together, and he asked to see a copy of my talk, yet to be delivered. His letter of response to it included the memorable line, “I cannot respect the judgment of anyone who would consider that Shakespeare could have had any hand in any part of the production of Hamlet Q1.” Bowers did not bother to challenge let alone refute any of the data I cited. In his words he showed that I just thought the unthinkable. No respect for the Bronx kid.

 

After holding another one of my HAMLET essays for consideration—for over two and a half years, during which revisions were asked for, and which I supplied promptly—I received a note from one of the readers explaining that SHAKESPEARE QUARTERLY would not print it because, in part, “it would not be good for your career.” The SQ reader didn’t say anything like “Gee, the evidence you cite is insufficient to support your truth-claims.” Or, “Here’s what you get wrong."  

 

Two odd sayings over the years have helped me recognize “wazz-up wit’ dat.” The first is: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you have to treat every problem as if it is a nail.” For decades one of the main goals of textual studies was to produce “diplomatic reprints” of early printed books, matching original spelling letter for letter because such reprints could reveal something about the author. Then Randall McLeod in a brilliant series of essays including “Spellbound” demonstrated that typesetters often altered their spelling in order to justify lines of type and in order to prevent “swash” italic letters—like “k” and “f” and “long-s”—from crossing over one another, as would happen if an italic ‘k” were to be followed by an italic “long-s.” (Thus that author’s name spelt “Shaksper” when typeset in italic had to have something inserted between the k and the s, yielding “Shak-sper” or “Shakespere” in print.) We learned that we had more tools. We could think about “mistakes” differently. My own new tool-set included stage movement and other kinds of stage action hitherto ignored or dismissed as insignificant or as “merely theatrical” by editors. More tools, differently interesting problem-sets, different approaches to finding answers.

 

Not every new tool is necessarily a good tool. Much depends on the user understanding the problem faced at the moment. This brings me to my second odd saying. Jonathan Swift back in the good ol’ days of public whipping, said something like: “The other day I saw a woman flayed; you can’t believe how it altered her appearance for the worse.” I’d like to apply it to the esthetics of our current parallel stream-discussion about statistical determination of authorship. On the analogy to flaying, I wonder what we gain or lose when we chop apart Henry VI part 2 into bits by Marlowe and bits by Shakespeare. Trying to make sense out of the collaboration, I checked “iterated destructive-wind imagery” in the Marlowe and Shakespeare sections. I find that somehow these two very different authors managed to weave shared this pattern of imagery into the very passages where they were also maintaining their own unique patterns of function-word use. Now, this isn’t quite like the pair of collaborating authors using the same cast of characters, but conjoined imagery? Wow! “Hey, Christopher!” sez William. “I’ll trade you three of my “who-followed-by-then” if you let me use nine of your “if-followed-by-where.” “No, William,” sez Christopher. “I’m already sticking five of your stinking ‘destructive wind’ images into MY scenes.  I’ll only let you use TWO ‘if-followed-by-where’s.” There’s something rotten in Stylometryland? “Go ahead, flay those texts.” But then show the potential buyers what they then look like on the rack. It ain’t pretty.

 

Sorry, O Stylometricians Dear, if I wax disrespectful. That’s what we do in the Bronx.

 

Spring’s a-comin' --

 

Steve Unstylometrowitz

 

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

Date:         March 12, 2019 at 2:16:02 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: Hamlet Q1

 

Brian Vickers’s new approach to testing Q1 Hamlet for reporting sounds promising. Obvious borrowings from other plays have almost always been added to the memorial evidence. Less noticeable borrowings should be expected.

 

My reading . . . suggests that all the actors who had played major roles – Hamlet, the King, Gertred, Corambis, Leartes, Ofelia, the Player and the Gravedigger – were involved in the recreation of the text, a task that would have been impossible for one person, let alone a shorthand taker.

 

John Briggs was right:

 

. . . Jerry Downs will be along shortly . . . in his theory the shorthand taker will have [mostly] accurately recorded an actual performance - deficiencies in the text will be largely down to the actors involved.)

 

Though a number of actors were once familiar with the play to be reported, there’s no way to know how many were involved in the reconstruction. I think a late, authorized cast wouldn’t botch the job so badly. If the memorial text was recorded in performance by shorthand (as I suggest), some of the players may not have well remembered or understood their lines. The confused agents may never be sorted out.

 

Vickers seems to repeat a common but fundamental mistake in supposing that shorthand hypothesis requires the stenographer to be actively involved in the stage production or the reconstruction. His job was to record speech. Q1 dialogue (if accurately recorded and unaltered) must derive from ill-prepared players. Until shorthand gets its due, Q1s can’t be understood. A good part of the evidence results from stenography (speech headings, set directions, punctuation, spelling), which merits more than dismissal; especially in view of the manuscript playtext John of Bordeaux. I’d like to see some comment about that playtext from any or all critics.

 

Brian seems not to share assumptions that players were part-perfect. Shorthand will have caught some of their errors, as is evident in text after text.

 

I accept the traditional theory, confirmed by Irace in her computer-assisted study, that the most accurate reporter . . . was the actor who played Marcellus, doubling that role with Voltemand and two personages in the Mousetrap, Lucianus and the Prologue.

 

Accuracy oughtn’t be judged merely by Q1/Q2 agreement; Q2 partly reprints Q1. Reconstruction will be somewhat reflected in passages that Q2 reprints as acceptable by its printing-house standards.

 

This hypothesis . . . . remained the consensus scholarly judgment until a backlash in the late 1980s against the New Bibliography, and especially the work of W. W. Greg, succeeded in discrediting the theory of memorial reconstruction and the whole concept of “Bad” Quartos.

 

The whole concept of bad quartos includes shorthand transmission, which Greg and his fellows gave short shrift. Memorial reconstruction can’t be sustained alone for so many texts. However, I agree with Vickers that Laurie E. Maguire gets it wrong:

 

I approach the Shakespearean suspect texts as if no parallel text existed . . . . I ignore any help or bias offered by a Q2 or F version. This puts the Shakespearean suspect texts on an equal footing with the non-Shakespearean, and facilitates contextual understanding. (Maguire)

 

Wh[at] “bias” . . . ? What is “contextual understanding”? Most serious, how can we put Q1 Hamlet on “an equal footing” with Q2 . . . ? [I]t mangles Shakespeare’s language . . . a reader can often only understand it by referring to [Q2]. . . . Bourus also avoided . . . the scholarly tradition, briefly dismissing G. I. Duthie, and never mentioning Alfred Hart . . . . Bourus revived the long-discredited thesis that Q1 represents Shakespeare’s first draft (c. 1589), a theory treated with great respect by Gary Taylor and Rory Loughnane in the NO Companion . . . .

 

NOS ‘respect’ seems political, as usual. All dismiss van Dam (1924). It’s good that Mac Jackson bucks the NOS ‘consensual’ claim. When discussing multiple versions we should remember their large, instructive numbers: Orlando, R&J, 2H4, R3, LLL, Troilus, A&The Shrew, Etc.

 

I am not the first person to compile such a list: Alfred Hart did so, briefly listing ‘Inter-play Borrowings’ (Stolne and Surreptitious Copies, 391-402).  

 

Hart fails to grasp shorthand: “If the report was taken in shorthand, it is impossible that such phrases could have been added by the stenographer during the process of transcription” (329). Hart believed shorthand wasn’t used at the time—having been convinced by “a professional” that it didn’t work. I think phonetic stenographers have shared the same ‘characters’ since the 1580s because variations on the tricks of the trade were necessarily and naturally developed from the beginning. Otherwise, Hart is a good reference; I think he’d not read van Dam. Cairncross raised some good questions around 1935. 

 

I conclude that the unauthorised first quarto of Hamlet was not an early draft by Shakespeare, but a collective reconstruction made, for whatever purpose, by members of the King’s Men in the spring and summer of 1602.

 

We can’t laud actors’ memories with Q1 staring us in the face, wherein they’re proved human. I agree with John Briggs that Q1 must stem from text distant enough to account for many grotesque errors; its date is hard to know. Nor can we safely assume a particular acting company behind it, or even a single company. Bordeaux was stolen by shorthand and partially prepared for acting by a second group. What precludes a third, memorial revival, or a second report of performance? Performances are, Greg relates, collective reconstructions.

 

Gerald E. Downs 

 

 

 

Shakespeare Between the World Wars

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.110  Tuesday, 12 March 2019

 

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

Date:         March 12, 2019 at 9:22:19 AM EDT

Subject:    Shakespeare Between the World Wars

 

https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137590633

 

Shakespeare Between the World Wars

The Anglo-American Sphere

By Robert Sawyer

 

Shakespeare Between the World Wars draws parallels between Shakespearean scholarship, criticism, and production from 1920 to 1940 and the chaotic years of the Interwar era. The book begins with the scene in Hamlet where the Prince confronts his mother, Gertrude. Just as the closet scene can be read as a productive period bounded by devastation and determination on both sides, Robert Sawyer shows that the years between the World Wars were equally positioned. Examining performance and offering detailed textual analyses, Sawyer considers the re-evaluation of Shakespeare in the Anglo-American sphere after the First World War. Instead of the dried, barren earth depicted by T. S. Eliot and others in the 1920s and 1930s, this book argues that the literary landscape resembled a paradoxically fertile wasteland, for just below the arid plain of the time lay the seeds for artistic renewal and rejuvenation which would finally flourish in the later twentieth century.  

 

 

 

Shakespeare’s Globe Archives Online

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 30.109  Tuesday, 12 March 2019

 

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

Date:         March 11, 2019 at 8:42:36 AM EDT

Subject:    Shakespeare’s Globe Archives Online

 

https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2019/shakespeares-globe-makes-archives-available-online/

 

Shakespeare’s Globe makes archives available online

 

Shakespeare’s Globe has digitised its archive for the first time, including rarely seen items such as annotated scripts and show reports from more than 200 productions.

 

The archive goes back to Sam Wanamaker’s initial vision for the London theatre and details the venue’s construction as well as containing material from across the first 20 years.

 

These include prompt books, wardrobe notes, music, photographs and programmes, and are intended to give researchers “unprecedented access to the history of Shakespeare’s Globe”.

 

Highlights include oral histories from figures including Mark Rylance and Zoe Wanamaker as well as front-of-house show reports detailing audience behaviour at thousands of performances since the Globe opened in 1997.

 

The project is a collaboration between the Globe and academic source publisher Adam Matthew Digital, which provides primary sources for teaching and research.

 

Farah Karim-Cooper, head of higher education and research at the Globe, said: “Academic research is increasingly preoccupied with performance history and practice, so we’re delighted that the Globe’s important and exciting performance archive, showcasing our experimental theatremaking over the last 20 years, can now be accessed by scholars and student around the world thanks to the work of Adam Matthew Digital.”

 

 

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