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HUMANITIES 401 dichotomy between Sidney's life and legend with ironic sympathy, and thus establishes for us that impulse to a divided response which Sidney's own works provoke even into the third book of his uncompleted novel, and which virtually defines Astrophil and Stella. But the book is short, and though it provides a forceful interpretation of the whole of Sidney'S career, it presents the individual moments of that career less clearly; inordinate space is given to source study and plot-untangling, and too little to the personal relationships within Sidney'S life with which Hamilton 's moral and psychological interpretation might well be interwoven. His very gift for articulating patterns raises exciting issues which are not always resolved. One is that question of the divided response, which he seems always prepared to make a major theme but never quite does; another is the relation between-the fiction-making sonneteer of the most fiction-like of all sonnet sequences and the mature novelist of the Arcadia . In the end, it is Hamilton's capacity to follow the 'directing threds' through the Sidnaean labyrinth that rewards us most, in his striking observation that Sidney'S true heir in the following century is Milton rather than George Herbert, a verdict that encompasses more of the essential Sidney - and of the seventeenth century - than many critics have yet been able to do. (GERMAINE WARKENTIN) Anne Lancashire, editor. Editing Renaissance Dramatic Texts: English, italian , and Spanish. Papers Give1l at the Eleventh Annual Conference on Editorial Problems, University of Toronto, 31 October- l November 1975 Garland Publishing 1976. '30. $12.00 Editing Renaissance Dramatic Texts, the latest volume of papers from the continuing Conference on Editorial Problems, will not disappoint those familiar with the general high standard of the series. Like its predecessors the volume provides a view of the current state of editorial scholarship in a particular field. It is also an exercise in humility since its pages constantly affirm the limitations of all past editorial labours while indicating many a new task yet to be begun. These two last-named concerns provide unity to a diverSity of papers that include G. Blakemore Evans's faSCinating examination of the 'burden of the past' as it affects the general editor of a complete Shakespeare (the Riverside text in this instance); Beatrice Corrigan's review of the problems involved and immense tasks still to be accomplished in the editing of Italian texts (almost no full critical editions of tragedies and pastorals as yet; no true critical edition of Tasso's Aminta; and numerous late Sixteenth-century comedies still available only in the original editions); and Arnold G. Reichenberger's survey of the current state of Spanish drama texts, an area of endeavour 402 LETTERS IN CANADA 1977 where the sheer number of texts and editions offers a seemingly insuperable physical problem for the editor. The collection is 'framed' by two further papers - the most thoughtprovoking in the volume - by G.R. Proudfoot and Arthur Freeman. Proudfoot's paper on 'Dramatic Manuscripts and the Editor' argues convincingly that for the editor of Elizabethan drama there is still much to be learned from surviving dramatic manuscripts, but even more challenging is his concluding assertion 'that the history of textual studies of the Elizabethan drama in the past half-century reveals a growing and by now excessive concentration on matters of sometimes fruitless speculation and on bibliographical techniques which ... are oflimited p~actical utility.' Freeman's paper on 'Inaccuracy and Castigation: The Lessons of Error' is a salutary and entertaining analysis of the legacy of error and the effects, beneficial and otherwise, of the castigation that inevitably follows the appearance of a new edition. Freeman also provides some very practical suggestions concerning such matters as the proofreading of titles and large fonts, the need for editors to understand modern printing processes and how these can 'forestall, abet, or thwart' textual revisions, and the benefit that would derive from regular publication in a single place of queries, acknowledged mistakes, and corrigenda. While the general quality of all the papers is high, the collection is not without its disappointments. Surely Anne Lancashire in her editorial introduction could have given...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 401-402
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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