NOS Alternative Versions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.296  Tuesday, 21 November 2017

 

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

Date:         November 21, 2017 at 1:53:53 AM EST

Subject:    RE: SHAKSPER: Richard III

 

John Briggs remarks:

 

There is a suggestion that at least part of the play in F1 was set from a quarto (Q3 or Q6?) - this suggests that FMS was not divided between the two compositors. Now, what was FMS a transcript of? What needs to be established is whether one (or more) quartos was transcribed. This would mean that FMS lacked independent authority, so this point needs to be determined first.

 

Points of general agreement: a) One-sixth of F was printed from Q3 (in two sections, with little alteration); and b) Qs 3 & 6 were used as F copy throughout with annotation from manuscript copy (FMS). Confusion reigns thereafter. F changes are so numerous that editors assume FMS was authoritative, even though many alterations are clearly without authority. Because F reprints Q, the nature of FMS is speculative.

 

As to the nature of the first quarto copy (QMS), memorial reconstruction raises its head. I have a soft spot for the slightly bonkers suggestion of the entire cast reconstructing their playbook - I still think (pace Jerry Downs) there is scope for shorthand recording in such a scenario.

 

Of course a quasi-performance could be recorded but that hypothesis requires others (e.g. Why?.) Whole-cast reconstruction and theatrical reporting would be different. For example, “playbookers” would identify which of their multiple characters were speaking, and to whom; there would be added banter and slow delivery. Record of a bona fide performance would generally be restricted to dialogue.

 

Steve Urkowitz notes:

 

Now, I am fully aware that mere correction of an erroneous belief with real-fact will not deter its continuation in the mind of a believer.

 

Perhaps not fully, unless Steve counts himself a believer. Correction of a real-fact . . . happens all the time.

 

Steven Urkowitz, “Reconsidering the Relationship of Quarto and Folio Texts of Richard III,” English Literary Renaissance 16.3 (1986), 442-466. I show that all the textual variants ascribed to erroneous memory are actually more simply explained as normal and typical authorial revision.

 

If more simple is more “actual,” then “revision” is enough. Why authorial? Q1/F variance is largely arbitrary. “Ascribed to memory” is too limiting. F alters Q throughout, often objectionably. All the evidence matters. I’ll look for the article. But I agree with Steve in important ways, up to a point. 

 

The Bad-Q / Good-F binary doesn't hold up to any expanded viewing of context and simple close-reading of the alternatives.

 

I agree, if for different reasons. Q is surely a bad quarto, as Q evidence attests. Authorized F is a mistaken assumption, by which Q should not be judged. The nature of QMS must be determined primarily by its sufficiency of internal evidence. Most F variants have nothing to do with that question, as Steve agrees (perforce). However, F editors did try to correct Q, in part from FMS additional text; there is considerable overlap. But Steve’s “binary” bogey doesn’t hold sway any more, according to the NOS. They argue that Q1 is not a bad quarto (MR) but a theatrical adaptation of FMS; that is, QMS derives from FMS by unbroken written transcription. Steve seems to believe revision was the other way about, from Q to F (authorial foul papers to revision by Shakespeare). Not to be outdone, NOS accepts revision of an “authorial complexion” from F to Q. Steve denies memorial transmission; NOS accepts significant memorial influence but gives it a pancake complexion (powder-puff cover-up: forget memory).

 

Write to tell me what you think.

 

We have two years before NOS tells us why they knew what they already know; it’s our last chance to think, pre-real-real-fact. To start, a ‘My Theory / Their Theory’ “binary” is no good if each relies on the same mistaken assumptions; other alternatives will be ignored. For instance, if Steve’s “No MR but Q to F authorial revision” comes up against NOS’s “No MR but F to Q theatrical revision,” both are invalid if QMS is a shorthand report. 

 

A lot of variants were taken to indicate Q corruption (of FMS or an F-like text); is the only alternative “authorial”? One can do worse than Pickersgill (New Shakspere Society’s Transactions, 1875, google books): 4.4.174, Q: ‘In thy company.’  F: ‘With thy company.’ “It is not worthwhile to dwell on this example . . . .” Does it take a Shakespeare to exchange ‘In’ for ‘With’? I think not.

 

4.4. 355: ‘Say I her sovereign, am her subject loue (Q); low (F)’: “ . . . upon the face of it the mark of an injudicious corrector, in whose eyes ‘love’ in the sense of ‘lover’ was an offence[.]”

 

          King. Why then, by God—

          Qu.                          God’s wrong is most of all.

       If thou hadst feared to break an oath by him,  (Q 4.4)

 

          Rich. Why then, by Heauen—

          Qu.                          Heauen’s wrong is most of all.

       If thou didst fear to break an oath with him (F)

 

“. . . there is . . . a bad case of blundering . . . where ‘God’ is changed to ‘Heaven, and yet ‘him’ is allowed to stand.” These are not real-facts favoring Shakespeare’s “simple” revision of an obvious word-for-word reprint (as here). When variants pile up, less and less remains for His hand. But less also remains of FMS authority.

 

What I think is that Q1 and QMS begat F, whose alterations are derivative or editorial (cur’d). Hammond (Arden2) observes: “There are . . . directions one would think more . . . authorial foul papers . . . . [3.3.96]: ‘Enter Hastin. a Purssuant’ . . . . preserves from the Chronicles the coincidence that Hasting’s interlocutor bore the same name as himself . . .”

 

Q1 dialogue supplies the name: ‘Well met Hastings, how goes [it]?’ And the condemned Hastings at 3.4 supplies the .2 set direction: ‘I now repent I tolde the Pursiuant . . . .‘ Q’s printer had no need of the Chronicles here. F went further by replacing Hasting’s ‘Hastings’ with ‘Sirrha’; the F agents may not have understood the coincidence. These simple possibilities make for complex text.

 

Gerald E. Downs

 

 

 

New (old) Books

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.295  Tuesday, 21 November 2017

 

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

Date:         November 20, 2017 at 11:03:08 PM EST

Subject:    New (old) Books

 

I’m writing to tell you about some books I have recently prepared for publication. In a catalog of reprints I found the Anti-Machiavel of 1576; after reading it, and noticing the reprints are scarce, expensive and somewhat difficult to read, I decided a new edition would be worthwhile. Research on the book led me to The Orator of 1596 (originally Epitomes de cent histoires tragiques, 1581) and The French Academy (in four books, published from 1578-1618). The Orator is completed, but The French Academy is still in progress. You can find PDF files of the books at antimachiavel.com, and they are up for sale at Amazon. Only paperbacks so far; I’m working on getting hardcovers available. They are important and undeservedly neglected books, and you might find them interesting. I am compiling evidence that they are the early works of Francis Bacon. I hope you find them interesting, and if so, please tell your colleagues. 

 

Regards,

Ryan

 

 

 

Radical Mischief: A Conference Inviting Experiment in Theatre, Thought and Politics

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.294  Tuesday, 21 November 2017

 

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

Date:         November 19, 2017 at 11:23:47 AM EST

Subject:    Radical Mischief: A Conference Inviting Experiment in Theatre, Thought and Politics

 

Radical Mischief: A Conference Inviting Experiment in Theatre, Thought and Politics

 

20-21 July 2018

The Other Place theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon 

 


Born of the pioneering collaboration between the University of Birmingham and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Radical Mischief offers an unmissable opportunity to be involved in an urgent and open conversation about what thought and theatre can do in our time at the RSC’s centre for research and development, The Other Place.

 

This conference invites participants to address the most important issues of our time in an open and exciting, inter-disciplinary and sector-crossing conversation. From the financial crash to war in the Middle East; from popular nationalism to fundamental questions about the value of both art and education: we live in a bewilderingly changing world. This conference will explore new ways in which we can work together not only to define but also to respond to its many challenges. 

 

In the spirit of the new democracy we seek to promote, this event will experiment with the traditional conference form. There will be no uninterrupted, pre-written papers; instead, there will be two provocative plenary conversations, between high-profile figures with challenging views, intended to inspire open debate. The conference will then curate a series of focused conversations in different formats, including active participation and open space technology, led by artists, scholars and conference participants.  

 

We are pleased to announce that the Conference will kick off with a conversation between Emma Rice and Professor Jonathan Dollimore.

The event will also feature an exciting mix of scholars, artists and journalists such as: Professor Dympna Callaghan, Nadia Latif, Professor Kiernan Ryan, Dr Catherine Silverstone, Hassan Abdulrazzak, Professor Julia Lupton, Anders Lustgarten, Lyn Gardner, Professor Peter Holbrook, Juliet Gilkes Romero, Dr Abigail Rokison-Woodall and Professor Richard Wilson.

For more information, or to register for the conference, visit: 

www.birmingham.ac.uk/rmc2018

 

 

NOS Alternative Versions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.293  Saturday, 18 November 2017

 

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

Date:         November 16, 2017 at 2:38:25 PM EST

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER

 

As if we don’t have enough alt-fact to deal with in the world, John Briggs blithely recalls to mind the zombies of memorial reconstruction. Ah, RICHARD III Quarto!  you poor mis-attributed thing.  Now, I am fully aware that mere correction of an erroneous belief with real-fact will not deter its continuation in the mind of a believer. And I’ve learnt after decades in this batty marketplace of ideas that Gresham’s Law applied to Shakespearean textual studies may be paraphrased as “Bad textual thinking drives good textual thinking out of circulation.”  

 

Nevertheless, I point you towards my carefully argued, extensively illustrated and jauntily written analysis of the theatrically interesting textual problems of Q and F RIII.  

 

Just fetch this in:

 

Steven Urkowitz, “Reconsidering the Relationship of Quarto and Folio Texts of Richard III,” English Literary Renaissance 16.3 (1986), 442-466.

 

If you can, print it in an expanded typeface. The original printing ran the whole long piece in the font usually reserved for footnotes.  

 

Step by step I show that all the textual variants ascribed to erroneous memory are actually more simply explained as normal and typical authorial revision.  The Bad-Q / Good-F binary doesn't hold up to any expanded viewing of context and simple close-reading of the alternatives.  But 1986 was a long time ago, so the Memorial-Reconstruction-by-Actors-zombies are back.  Remember Voodoo Economics and the Trickle-Down theories of the widespread benefits of untaxing the rich?  Same-same return of baseless theory trumping careful evidence.  

 

So take a look at my nice essay.  Write to tell me what you think.

 

Ever,

Steve  Alt-Zombiewitz

 

 

 

B&L 11.1

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.292  Saturday, 18 November 2017

 

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

Date:         November 17, 2017 at 2:56:32 PM EST

Subject:    B&L 11.1

 

The General Editors of Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation are delighted to announce the release of Volume 11.1, “Global Shakespeares in World Markets and Archives,” edited by Alexa Alice Joubinhttp://www.borrowers.uga.edu/

 

This multimedia-rich issue includes a musicological explanation of world music in contemporary productions of Elizabethan Drama, by Kendra Leonard; an exploration of “post-race” Shakespeare in South Africa, by Adele Seeff; Sujata Iyengar’s discussion of the life of objects in three international screen versions of OthelloJeff Butcher’s exposition of Hamletism and Leftism; Richard Burt’s analysis of “Unread ‘Letters’” in Shakespeare; and Christy Desmet’s essay on digital Shakespeare curation. We also publish review essays about Peter Sellars’s Midsummer Chamber Play (Carol Mejia LaPerle) and Five Kings (Fiona Ritchie and Jennifer Drouin), and a book review by Alexa Alice Joubin of Emily Sun’s Succeeding King Lear.

http://www.borrowers.uga.edu/

 

Sujata Iyengar, Professor of English

Co-general editor of Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation

Department of English

University of Georgia

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. (editorial correspondence)

 

 

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