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Unediting the Renaissance: Shakespeare, Marlowe, Milton

By Leah S. Marcus | Go to book overview

PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This project is one year older than its dedicatee, and has altered over time almost as much as she has. Like any book that attempts to mediate between disciplines, it has required a delicate balance between them and runs the risk of being condemned by both. I have, I am sure, included far too few textual details to satisfy most bibliographers, far too many to be palatable to other readers still laboring under the misconception that such matters are of no consequence. These latter, I fervently hope to convert. Throughout the book, I have been quite speculative, more interested in suggesting directions for further inquiry than in offering definitive statements. As will be fairly obvious to my readers, I am most excited about the newest material—on memory, oral/aural modes of communication, and seventeenth-century anxieties about lost oral presence—as treated in chapters 5 and 6. Some segments of the argument have appeared elsewhere, usually in markedly different form. Part of chapter 2 is reprinted by kind permission of Northwestern University Press and Mary Beth Rose, editor of Renaissance Drama, from “Textual Indeterminacy and Ideological Difference: The Case of Doctor Faustus,Renaissance Drama new series 20 (1989): 1-30, but appears here with much additional evidence and consideration of yet a third variant form of the play. Part of chapter 4 is reprinted by kind permission of Arthur Kinney, editor of English Literary Renaissance, from “The Shakespearean Editor as Shrew-Tamer,” English Literary Renaissance 22 (1992): 177-200, and is offered here in much revised and expanded form. One- to four-page snippets of chapters 3 and 6 have appeared respectively in “Levelling Shakespeare: Local Customs and Local Texts,” Shakespeare Quarterly 42 (1991): 168-78; “Robert Herrick,” Thomas N. Corns, ed., The Cambridge Companion to English Poetry: Donne to Marvell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 171-81; and “Milton as Historical Subject: Milton Banquet Address, Chicago, 1990,” Milton Quarterly 25 (1991): 120-27, and are reprinted here with permission of the editors and of Cambridge University Press. But the argument of the book is progressive: readers who read it through in old-fashioned linear fashion will, I trust,

-ix-

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