Texts of King Lear

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.190  Wednesday, 24 May 2017

 

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

Date:         May 23, 2017 at 12:46:21 PM EDT

Subject:    Texts of King Lear

 

Exposed to steady repetitions of falsehood, the human brain biochemically responds by accepting error as if it were truth. And then stories built upon such error assume a life as convincing as “what actually happened.”   The only way to alleviate the consequences such iterated misperceptions requires that we approach the errors through other narrative directions.  Same facts, alternative narratives. We have to listen to other, different stories about the same material.  Then the mind may choose among alternative tales.  

 

So here are two different blind guys groping the same-same elephant.  Blind Guy One stands under the tail.  “Jeez!,” he exclaims.  “Elephants stink.  Elephants drop huge numbers of discrete, spherical, heavy, object that on really close inspection show that they used to be edible plant material.  Look!  This was a leaf!  This was a stem!  It must have been chewed up and digested!  Disgusting!  Let’s get out of here!”  Blind Guy Two stands near the front.  “Oooooh!” he exclaims. “I feel this delicate soft appendage stroking my body.  It just inhaled my bag o’ peanuts! The rolling, coiling peanut-stealing appendage goes all graceful, delicately artickleyated and even playful!  I love it!  Let’s play some more.”  If the only voice you hear is Blind Guy One’s, you won’t hang around those elephants, any elephants at all.  

 

Here's a conclusion to a recent Blind Guy One narrative:  note the diction of “superfluous” and “fatuous,” “corrupt” and “self-interested.”

 

The malady surely extended to passages in prose, where “space-metal” was conserved by using margins so wide that restoration in Q1 presented a difficult problem. I believe one solution was to remove superfluous text. Whether the cuts were recorded or discovered during F redaction, their frequent restoration indicates probable eyeskip omission of other text. That would explain the lack of normal evidence in Q and F and the fatuous nature of the F additions. Perhaps some examples will show why the inference is virtually forced: remember, Q is a corrupt report made over by a series of self-interested print house agents.

 

Steven Urkowitz

 

 

 

CFP: Shakespeare's Extra/Ordinary Bodies

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.189  Wednesday, 24 May 2017

 

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

Date:         May 22, 2017 at 2:47:02 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: CFP: Shakespeare's Extra/Ordinary Bodies

 

In 2017, the SPRG proposes taking explicit advantage of the conference theme to invite papers addressing not only the diversity of extra/ordinary bodies framed by the dramatic interrogation of categories of racialized, sexualized, gendered, or even species identification posed by the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, but moments in the history of Shakespeare performance which hinged on the extra/ordinary work of specific actors, whose bodies were themselves sites of differential aesthetics (Kempe, Robeson). 

 

 I am thinking of proposing a paper provisionally entitled “Cross-cultural and inter-specific reification of cisgender, isomorphic and normative identifications in a post-human context, as exemplified by a discursive analysis of Timon of Athens.”  I am not quite sure yet what position I might take on the issue.

 

 

 

Texts of King Lear

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.188  Monday, 22 May 2017

 

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

Date:         May 8, 2017 at 2:25:24 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: Texts of King Lear

 

Some features of early Lear texts are difficult to reconcile except to the Vickers hypothesis that F restores Q1 omission. Although Blayney curtly rejects both space-saving Q1 abridgment of its copy and recovery of cuts from a parallel stemma, credible textual history supports correction of Q1 omissions in F by further reference to Q1 printer’s copy:

 

1). Q1 (1608) is a theatrical report (Stone, Bordeaux); the author wasn’t subsequently involved.

2). Seriatim-set Q1 was foul proofed before correction at press (Blayney).

3). F manuscript copy, reliant on Q1 and Q1 copy, helped and failed to help correct Q1 (Stone).

4). Text was accidentally omitted in Q1 verse, some of which was restored by foul proofing.

5). Prose and verse printed as prose were often too dense for simple restoration of omission.

 

These phenomena are generally misunderstood: authorial Q copy is mistakenly assumed; foul proofing is ignored; Q1 copy (the manuscript origination of printed transmission) is considered a one-off resource; and omission is deemed incidental.

 

Disturbed Q1 verse and F correction indicate eyeskip. Restored prose is harder to discover in margin-to-margin text and reprinting. But Stone noticed puzzling characteristics of F additions that may be explained by Q1 omission.

 

We cannot argue that, if some of the passages unique to F display the marks of interpolation, all must therefore be interpolations. . . . [T]hat none of the fresh material in F is strictly necessary may . . . argue either addition in F or omission in Q; but when we know that some of it has been deliberately added we may find it more significant that the Q text does not actually require the expansions it has received (69).

 

[E]vidence of style cannot be assessed altogether objectively: nevertheless it might be argued that . . . the style of the additional passages . . . is never particularly distinctive (81).

 

Thus the hypothesis of revision . . . is assisted rather than otherwise by the further hypothesis that the reviser was able to call in aid no separate authority but only the manuscript which had [served] in the composition of Q; besides resolving most of the remaining difficulties presented by the evidence, the second hypothesis supports the first [with] an intelligible motive for the revision . . . . (91)

 

[It is] reasonable to assume a double [Q] recension. . . . Collation with [Q copy] would result in a number of corrections . . . recovery of matter accidentally or mistakenly omitted from Q. . . . The second stage of revision would produce substitutions, expansions and cuts. (115–16)

 

Stone presumed (despite the “recovered matter” alternative) that most additions in F are post-Q1 and non-authorial. Their unimpressive content and quality were reasons for thinking so, as he indicates of separate instances:

 

[If] an interpolation, there is no particular reason for it. . . . Another redundant interpolation . . . . The additional lines in F merely make the connection more explicit. . . . The reviser has seen a pun . . . . The passage introduces two circumstances not alluded to in Q . . . . That these lines did not belong to [Q1] is shown by their association with the next addition . . . to suppose that both passages were omitted from Q would be . . . to assume a method and purpose in the omissions. (239–40)

 

These judgments are mitigated by the possibility that purposeful Q1 omission was employed. Stone noticed both early Q1 correction and recovery of text in F but missed their extent. Had he known Blayney’s explanation of crowded Q text, Stone may have suspected deliberate excision of unimportant text to make room for meaningful recovery. Consider the Q texts of 3.2 and 3.4:

 

    Foole. . . .

Good Nunckle in, and aske thy daughters blessing,  11

Heers a night pities nether wise man nor foole.

    Lear. . . .

I taske not you elements with vnkindnes,

. . .

You owe me no subscription,why then let fall your horrible

Here I stãd your slaue,a poore infirme weak &               (plesure

Despis’d ould man,but yet I call you seruile

Ministers,that haue with 2. Pernitious daughters ioin’d

Your high engēdred battel gainst a head so old & white

As this, O tis foule.               24

    Foole. Hee that has a house to put his head in . . .

    Lear.   No I will be the patterne of all patience  Enter Kent.

I will say nothing.                  38

. . .

    Kent.                    . . . hard by here is

a houell . . . repose you there, whilst I to this hard house . . .

which euen but now . . . denide me to come in, returne and

force their scanted curtesie.   67

. . .

    Lear.    . . . come bring vs to this houell?

             (Q1, 3.2.11–78, sig. F4)

 

                  Enter Lear, Kent, and foole

    Kent.   Here is the place my Lord . . . 

. . .

    Lear.                   . . . but I will punish sure,

No I will weepe no more, in such a night as this!

O Regan, Gonorill, your old kind father                  (lies,

Whose franke heart gaue you all, O that way madnes

Let me shun that,no more of that.

             (Q1, 3.4.1–21)

 

                         But I will punish home;

No, I will weepe no more; in such a night[,

To shut me out? Poure on, I will endure:  18

In such a night] as this? O Regan, Gonerill,

Your old kind Father, whose franke heart gaue all,

O that way madnesse lies, let me shun that:

                  (F, 3.4.16–21)

 

Stone rationalizes F’s ‘To shut me out? Poure on, I will endure: / in such a night’: “If this is a revision . . . [keeping No] necessitated the loss of as this . . . . and that the third line was devised to piece out the sense . . . until the whole phrase In such a night as this? Could be repeated in the fourth. . . . It [is] tempting to regard the passage as a case . . . of accidental omission in Q: the compositor’s eye might well have jumped from in such a night . . . to in such a night as this . . . . What lies between, however, is extremely suspicious. . . . Does [Lear] even know that he would be refused . . .? [Kent] has not yet started on his mission [to force the issue] before Lear speaks (in F) of being ‘shut out.’” (243)

 

As revision, the line-and-a-half serves little purpose other than to repair the meter. But 3.2 dialogue shows Lear refusing to seek his daughters’ aid; and Kent’s report confirmed that he could only beg for shelter. There’s insufficient reason to deny the addition’s legitimacy.

 

Eyeskip is highly probable: Q1’s first ‘in such a night’ picked up as this from the repeated phrase (and one ‘in such a night’ was omitted). Identical words in front and back of interpolation are too coincidental; the chances of revision repetitions in the same spots as proven omissions are less than for eyeskip opportunities. (Though dialogue repetition is common, the question is of placement). Further, Q1 meter is made good by dropping ‘as this.’ The harmless omission was ignored, recorded for future inclusion, or missed.

 

To argue revision is to ignore the pointlessness of this and similar additions and the lack of meaningful changes. The Q1 text should be examined for difficulties also inherited in F that may tell against authoritative sources. For example, at 3.4.25 ‘but Ile go in’, and 3.4.130 ‘How fares your Grace?’, F follows Q’s mistaken speech headings. At 3.2.19ff, Q1 breaks from regular verse (with “quotation quad” margins?) to crowd lines using various tools, if somewhat oddly. I guess more foul proofing restoration, of which I’ve now shown enough instances to establish chronic Q1 eyeskip omission and its consequences in Q and F.

 

The malady surely extended to passages in prose, where “space-metal” was conserved by using margins so wide that restoration in Q1 presented a difficult problem. I believe one solution was to remove superfluous text. Whether the cuts were recorded or discovered during F redaction, their frequent restoration indicates probable eyeskip omission of other text. That would explain the lack of normal evidence in Q and F and the fatuous nature of the F additions. Perhaps some examples will show why the inference is virtually forced: remember, Q is a corrupt report made over by a series of self-interested print house agents.

 

Gerald E. Downs

 

 

 

Podcast on Counterfatual Thinking

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.187  Monday, 22 May 2017

 

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

     Date:         May 2, 2017 at 2:03:49 PM EDT

     Subj:         Re: SHAKSPER: Podcast on Counterfatual Thinking

 

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

     Date:         May 3, 2017 at 3:43:39 PM EDT

     Subj:         RE: SHAKSPER: Podcast on Counterfatual Thinking

 

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

     Date:         May 7, 2017 at 2:32:04 PM EDT

     Subj:         Re: SHAKSPER: Podcast on Counterfatual Thinking

 

 

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

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

Date:         May 2, 2017 at 2:03:49 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Podcast on Counterfatual Thinking

 

Following up on Neema Parvini’s reply to C. David Frankel, I still value Maynard Mack’s old essay on Hamlet, in which he points out that it begins in an interrogative mood (“Who’s there?”) that pervades the entire play. I also agree that, assuming we don’t know the play already, we would not be certain of Claudius’s guilt until he himself reveals it. Claudius’s response to the Mousetrap is striking but his motives aren’t clear (Harry Levin pointed out way back that he could easily be responding to a perceived threat rather than a mirroring of his guilt, give that what he sees is a nephew killing an uncle). And I agree about the reasonableness of Hamlet’s doubt and hesitation. Apart from the fact that killing your uncle as an act of vengeance is wrong by any Christian standard, he would also be twice-widowing his mother. And the ghost is hardly trustworthy, especially for a student from Wittenberg. Even if we decide that Hamlet does somehow achieve his revenge by the end of the play (highly debatable), what has it achieved? The deaths of the entire Danish ruling family and court, and the return of Denmark to Norwegian rule, making meaningless the military achievements of the man whose ghost apparently set the whole plot afoot. Hamlet should perhaps have thought even more, and hesitated further.

 

Hannibal

 

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

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

Date:         May 3, 2017 at 3:43:39 PM EDT

Subject:    RE: SHAKSPER: Podcast on Counterfatual Thinking

 

 

I wrote:

 

“The play does not expect the audience to know only what Hamlet knows.  If it did, there’d only be scenes in which Hamlet is present.  And even if that were the case, we couldn’t only know what Hamlet knows because the way in which we perceive (what reaches us) is going to be different than what reaches Hamlet (pretending for the moment that he’s a real person).”

 

To which Neema Parvini replied:

 

While this might be the case it is easy to forget. For example, can you tell me how and when the audience might know that Claudius is guilty without prior knowledge of the play?

 

(me) – that’s a very different issue than whether the audience knows only what Hamlet knows.  Furthermore, it’s not clear what audience’s in Shakespeare’s day knew about the story before they came to the theatre.  Presumably, most Athenian audiences knew before seeing Oedipus Tyrannos that he’d married his mother and killed his father.  The story of Hamlet may not have been as well-known to Elizabethan audiences as Oedipus was to Athenians, but some probably knew it – and some probably didn’t.

 

C. David Frankel

Assistant Director of Theatre

School of Theatre and Dance

University of South Florida

 

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

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

Date:         May 7, 2017 at 2:32:04 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Podcast on Counterfatual Thinking

 

On how not knowing the play in advance might change our perception, I think an even better example would be King Lear. As R. W. Chambers showed in a lecture delivered in 1939, all the versions of the story available to Shakespeare would have included a restoration of Lear to power.

 

The tragic conclusion not only is shockingly excessive --- as Samuel Johnson noted --- but also would be unexpected.

 

Yours,

Sean Lawrence.

 

 

 

Gems of Renaissance Polyphony

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.186  Monday, 22 May 2017

 

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

Date:         May 18, 2017 at 11:51:55 AM EDT

Subject:    Gems of Renaissance Polyphony

 

ARTEK is one of New York City’s world-class early music ensembles, celebrating over 30 years of concerts in the City and touring in the United States and abroad.

 

Gotham Early Music Scene, Inc. (GEMS), the service and advocacy organization for early music in New York City, is forwarding the following listing information to Shaksper on behalf of ARTEK. We thank you for your attention!

 

CONTACT:                                                  -OR-

 

Gwendolyn Toth, Director                                         

Gene Murrow or Naomi Morse

            ARTEK                                                                       

Gotham Early Music Scene, Inc.

            (212) 967-9157

http://www.artekearlymusic.org                                 (212) 866-0468

            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                                  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, May 18, 2017

 

ARTEK, based in New York City and with a reputation as one of America’s top early music ensembles, presents its 32nd season of concerts of musically significant, rarely-heard repertoire performed on period instruments in historical style, featuring the finest early music artists. 

 

“Deeply considered, beautifully sung...consistently polished, finely balanced performances.” - Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

 

ARTEK

Gems of Renaissance Polyphony

 

 

Date:                  Friday, June 2, 2017

 

Time:                 7 pm

 

Location:           Immanuel Lutheran Church

                           122 East 88th Street

                           New York, NY

 

Neighborhood: Upper East Side

 

Cross Street:     Lexington Avenue

 

Subway/Bus:     #4, 5, or 6 subway to 86th Street 

                           M98, M101, M102, M103 bus

 

Tickets:              $25 General seating

 

Available from Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS)

   Online at: www.gemsny.org/events/artek-2016-2017-season 

Telephone: (212) 866-0468 

 

 

Description:

 

ARTEK will present a special final concert this season featuring masterpieces of two masters of the 16th and early 17th century: Prophetiae Sibyllarum by Orlande de Lassus (1530/32-1594) and excerpts from Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares by John Dowland (1563-1626). The Prophetiae Sibyllarum cycle of motets is one of Lassus’s most distinctive works, renowned for its extreme chromaticism; and its compositional complexity and virtuosity is one of the reasons Orlande was known in his own time as Princeps Musicorum, [Prince of Musicians] and as Le Divin Orlande [The Divine Orlande]. The set is a cycle of 12 motets prefaced by an introductory motet, set to ancient prophecies of the Sibylls, which in the 16th century were thought to foreshadow the coming of Christ. 

 

The pieces are rarely performed because of technical difficulties that are only now with recent research coming to be understood. Chief among these are the clefs in which they are written. Since the late 1980s scholars have known that the use of “high clefs”, or chiavette, signal a different pitch level a fourth lower than the normally understood one. However, adoption of this extremely well-documented principle has been slow even amongst leading period instrument groups; recent performances of the Monteverdi Vespers even in 2017 still resist the clear indication for the required low pitch level in several movements. The Prophetiae Sibyllarum not only sets four of the 12 motets in high clefs, but it also sets 2 motets in the very rarely encountered low clefs which likewise imply an upward transposing pitch level. No modern scores exist that contain the proper transpositions for today’s singers, who do not read easily up or down a fourth. This means that although the piece was written in four part books, modern performances have been unable to use the same four singers or choir sections throughout the work. An appropriate score has been created for this performance and ARTEK’s four solo singers, supported by viols as was typical in Renaissance sacred music, will perform the entire cycle. Another difficulty is the certain use of quarter-comma meantone. Only in recent years have a few period instrument ensembles such as ARTEK achieved the goal of singing with pure thirds and sixths in Renaissance music, as specified by the 16th-century theorist Zarlino. However, Lassus’s extreme chromaticism suffers greatly without the appropriate tuning system. 

 

The program will also contain four movements from Dowland’s Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares, performed by the instruments: Lachrimae Gementes [Sighing Tears], Lachrimae Coactae [Forced Tears], and Lachrimae Verae [True Tears] by the ARTEK viol consort; and Lachrimae Antiquae [Old Tears] on solo organ in the intabulation attributed to Heinrich Scheidemann. 

 

The performance is a memorial concert for Ann L. Wilson, member of the ARTEK Board of Directors until her passing in 2015. All proceeds will benefit the Immanuel Lutheran Church organ fund.

 

Performers:

 

ARTEK singers:

Sarah Chalfy, soprano; Ryland Angel, countertenor; Michael Steinberger, tenor; and Peter Becker, bass-baritone

 

ARTEK viol consort:

Rosamund Morley, soprano viol; Daniel McCarthy, tenor viol; Michael Rigsby, tenor viol; Arnie Tanimoto, bass viol; and Motomi Igarashi, bass viol and violone

 

ARTEK director Gwendolyn Toth will lead the performance and play organ

 

Additional information on ARTEK:

 

ARTEK, founded by director Gwendolyn Toth in 1986, features America’s finest singers and instrumentalists in performances of 17th and 18th century repertoire from Italy and Germany. Audiences love ARTEK concerts for their exciting, dramatic performances of baroque music, with compelling musical settings of beautiful poetry and infectious dance rhythms that infuse the performances with vitality and spirit. In addition to acclaimed performances of I’ll Never See the Stars Again, highlights of past seasons include standing-ovation performances to sell-out crowds at the Regensburg (Germany) Tage Alter Musik Festival (1998 and 2003) and debut performances at the prestigious Boston Early Music Festival (2003) and the Berkeley Early Music Festival (2010). ARTEK toured internationally from 1997 to 2002 with the Mark Morris Dance Group, visiting major venues in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada as well as more than 50 of America’s premier theaters. ARTEK’s recordings of Monteverdi’s Orfeo , Monteverdi’s Madrigals Book V and other early Italian repertoire have been widely praised; the ensemble’s 2017 recording project is Monteverdi’s Madrigals, Book VII. (www.artekearlymusic.org)

 

 

For more information or to set up an interview:

 

Call (212) 967–9157 or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Website: http://www.artekearlymusic.org

 

###

 

Media services provided by: Gotham Early Music Scene, Inc. 340 Riverside Drive # 1-A, New York, NY 10025  www.gemsny.org

 

 

 

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