By Shakespeare, William; Haffenden, John; Berryman, John

Edited via John Haffenden
With a Preface by way of Robert Giroux

John Berryman, one in all America's such a lot proficient sleek poets, was once winner of the Pulitzer Prize for 77 Dream Songs and the nationwide publication Award for His Toy, His Dream, His Rest. He won a name as an innovator whose daring literary adventures have been tempered through exacting self-discipline. Berryman used to be additionally an energetic, prolific, and perceptive critic whose personal adventure as a big poet served to his virtue.

Berryman was once a protégé of Mark Van Doren, the good Shakespearean pupil, and the Bard's paintings remained certainly one of his such a lot abiding passions--he might dedicate a life-time to writing approximately it. His voluminous writings at the topic have now been gathered and edited by means of John Haffenden.

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Extra info for Berryman's Shakespeare : [essays, letters, and other writings]

Sample text

Shak. 104. I do not think the anticipation, by more than 40 lines, of “Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed” is an insuperable objection to the emendation. 7). All in all, it was a creditable first effort, exploiting the resources of his critical reading, which he was to explain more fully in a letter to Mark Van Doren of May 17, 1945 (see text below). But he would not relinquish the problem without deeper reflection; by February 16, 1946, as he told W. W. Greg, he had pored over “six conjectures seriously entertained for ‘parti,eyd’ at various times, but I have been able to discard more or less conclusively four of these and all I am certain of is that the word ended ‘-ey’d’ (cf euill-eyd Cym, sad-eyed Henry V, thicke eyde I H.

8) Some lines are hypermetrical, with apparently interpolated matter, that (as some critics have argued) could have been introduced only by actors who were attempting to reconstruct their parts from memory. ) I shall cite some of the simple instances that Berryman raises in his essay on the text of King Lear included in this volume. Lear in the very first scene says of his unorthodox abdication, in the quarto version: Know we have divided In three our kingdom, and ’tis our first intent To shake all cares and business of our state, Confirming them on younger years.

Whoever wrote (or wrote out) the copy also used many eccentric or archaic spellings. Taxed to the utmost, and sometimes employing sheer guesswork (and ignorance), the compositors perpetrated innumerable misreadings; the verse is poorly set out, making it very difficult to scan, and hopelessly punctuated. Commas were often used in place of full periods, for want of any other kind of pointing, but the commas are as likely to be wrong as right. Jay L. Halio, in a recent edition of the quarto, says, “Some of the verse is also printed as prose”: about two-thirds of the verse is correctly printed, and not mislined, he notes (though it is difficult to appreciate the full impact of the matter from Halio’s amended edition).

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