Shakespeare Verbatim; The Reproduction of Authenticity and the 1790 Apparatus

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This study challenges traditional treatments of Shakespeare through a study of their textual imperatives in the late eighteenth century. The examination of earlier treatments demonstrates that concepts now basic to Shakespeare were once largely irrelevant. Only with Edmond Malone's 1790 Shakespeare edition do such criteria as authenticity, historical periodization, factual biography, chronological development, and in-depth reading become necessary as parts of a tightly interlocked textual schema. Their emergence, this text shows, must be seen as a specific historical response to the problem the Shakespeare corpus has posed since its definition by the 1623 Folio: what to make of its heterogeneity and irregularity. Malone's apparatus unified and regulated the texts by making them accountable to Shakespeare the "Author."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dazzlingly effective....This is one of the year's most important books—required reading not only for Shakespeareans, but for anyone who wants to explore the culturally specific interface between editorial presentation of texts and reader expectations from them."—Studies in English Literature

"We have de Grazia's wise and compelling book to show us a contradictory picture of our age and its puzzlement about post-modern textual studies."—Renaissance Quarterly

"Offers us a great deal of freshly considered information about the publishing history of Shakespeare and about legal changes in the concept of intellectual property between Shakespeare's day and Malone's, enlivened by snatches of very close reading indeed."—Times Literary Supplement

"Provides a stimulating survey of the development of eighteenth-century editing and Shakespearian scholarship....The book is the product of an acute, well-informed intelligence and deserves reading by anyone interested in the cultural production of "Shakespeare." "—Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198117780
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1991
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 0.88 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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