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Shakespeare's Modern Collaborators

Shakespeare's Modern Collaborators
Your Price: $25.95 CDN
Author: Lukas Erne
Publisher: Continuum
Series: Shakespeare Now!
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 144
Pub. Date: 2008
ISBN-10: 0826489966
ISBN-13: 9780826489968

About the Book:

Shakespeare's Modern Collaborators discusses the concept of collaboration being central to current critical trends and argues for the first time that modern editors are positive collaborators.

Recent work in Shakespeare studies has brought to the forefront a variety of ways in which the collaborative nature of Shakespearean drama can be investigated: collaborative performance (Shakespeare and his fellow actors); collaborative writing (Shakespeare and his co-authors); collaborative textual production (Shakespeare and his transcribers and printers).

What this leaves unaccounted for is the form of collaboration that affects more than any other our modern reading experience of Shakespeare's plays: what we read as Shakespeare now always comes to us in the form of a collaborative enterprise — and is decisively shaped by the nature of the collaboration — between Shakespeare and his modern editors.

Contrary to much recent criticism, Shakespeare's Modern Collaborators suggests that modern textual mediators have a positive rather than negative role: they are not simply 'pimps of discourse' or cultural tyrants whose oppressive interventions we need to 'unedit' but collaborators who can decisively shape and enable our response to Shakespeare's plays.

Lukas Erne argues that any reader of Shakespeare, scholar, student, or general reader, approaches Shakespeare through modern editions that have an endlessly complicated and fascinating relationship to what Shakespeare may actually have intended and written, that modern editors determine what that relationship is, and that it is generally a very good thing that they do so.

What people say:

"This witty, elegant and lucid book gives centre stage to the people who have interpreted and analyzed Shakespeare before we read him: the editors. On page after page, Erne's carefully chosen textual examples illustrate not just the purpose but the value of editing. A joy to read, this is also an important contribution to our understanding of the way Shakespeare has been mediated to us in the past — and in the present." — Tiffany Stern, Oxford University

"Lukas Erne does us a great service by correcting, with such scrupulous care, the Romantic myth that Shakespeare was a solitary genius. This lucidly written analysis makes clear that Shakespeare's work has been shaped profoundly by four sorts of collaboration: co-authorship in quite a few instances, the staging of the plays with fellow actors, the printing process, and the interventions of editors down through the centuries. Erne convincingly defends editing as potentially beneficial and creative in the best sense. What we mean by 'Shakespeare', then, is rich, complex, and ever enlarging in an ongoing collaboration involving the text, the stage, the critic, the reader, and the viewer." — David Bevington, University of Chicago, Editor of The Complete Works of Shakespeare

"Erne offers a succinct review of contemporary debates over editorial practice and, most important, foregrounds the relationship between editing and production, raising many relevant questions that warrant the attention of editors, directors, and instructors. Summing up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty, and professionals." — R. A. Stritmatter for CHOICE

"The purpose of Shakespeare Now! is to produce a series of minigraphs to illuminate current challenges in Shakespearean scholarship in a fresh and accessible way. Appropriately, Lucas Erne's discussion mirrors this strategy by positing the role of the editor as a bridge between the Elizabethan era and our own times… he makes a strong case for the neglected and fundamental role of editors as proactive, creative collaborators bringing works to life for the reader and spectator." — Kenneth Schlesinger for Broadside

"The ambitious project of the Shakespeare NOW series is to bridge the gap between ‘scholarly thinking and a public audience’ and ‘public audience and scholarly thinking’. Scholars are encouraged to write in a way accessible to a general readership and readers to rise to the challenge and not be afraid of new ideas and the adventure they offer. There are other bridges the series is ambitious to cross: ‘formal, political or theoretical boundaries’ – history and philosophy, theory, and performance." — English, Vol. 58, 2009

About the Author:

Lukas Erne is Professor of English Literature at the University of Geneva, where he was also chair of the English Department from 2007 to 2010. He holds degrees from the universities of Lausanne, Geneva, and Oxford. He has taught at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, at the University of Neuchâtel and, as Visiting Professor, at Yale University. He is the author of Shakespeare’s Modern Collaborators.