Saturday, August 23, 2008


If you're in Shakespeare studies or a related field, you probably already know about the petition to reinstate Patricia Parker's contract as editor of the Arden 3 edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream. If, by chance, you hadn't heard, then take a gander.

I don't know Parker, but I've read some of her work and admired it since grad school.

I've got a feeling that all the petitions by academics in the world don't amount to a hill of beans compared to a company's cost/benefit analysis.


On a related note, reading the petition made me think about some folks I know, which was cool. But it's also weird to realize that someone you know fairly well has switched jobs and you weren't aware.

I feel very out of Shakespeare things sometimes, out here, teaching nearly a half-load of comp and not enough Shakespeare.

It would be fascinating, though, were one able to trace back the connections among folks signing the petition or reading emails and such.

On a further note, Parker's been working on her edition for ten years. That seems like a long time, but having seen just a little of the editing process from the sidelines, it's an amazing process and ten years isn't as long as it sounds. The editor I know pretty much knew every line in the play by memory, including it's act, scene and line number, tln, and textual issues. He could just about give page numbers for issues raised in previous editions or criticism. It's an impressive level of knowledge, a level few of us actually reach with anything, I'm guessing.


  1. Anonymous10:33 AM

    Hi Bardiac,
    I'm very perplexed by the Pat Parker issue. You might also want to take a look at Peter Holland's letter, if you haven't already seen it:

  2. I'm just thrilled to find somebody else doing things other than their training... I teach more World Civ than European history. And I miss it very much. So it's nice to hear same from other folks.