John Florio and Shakespeare
Posted: 14 July 2013 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1190
Joined  2007-04-28

Here.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2013 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  392
Joined  2007-10-20

Very interesting and nicely written, competent, thorough, etc. But what’s wrong here?:

Hamlet provides interesting reading on this question. In Act 5 scene 2 Hamlet taunts a pretentious “Courtier” (renamed “young Osricke” in the Folio):

HAMLET put your Bonet to his right vse, ‘tis for the head.
OSRIC I thanke your Lordship, ‘tis very hot …
HAMLET Mee thinkes it is very soultry, and hot for my Complexion.
OSRIC Exceedingly, my Lord, it is very soultry, as ‘twere I cannot tell how …
HAMLET I beseech you remember. [pointing to his hat]
OSRIC Nay, in good faith, for mine ease …

As critics have noted, Hamlet’s frustration with the courtier’s over-formality recalls a dialogue from John Florio’s Italian language manual, Florio’s Second Fruits, printed in 1591:

G Why do you stand barehedded? you do your self wrong.
E Pardon me good sir. I doe it for my ease.
G I pray you be couered, you are too ceremonious.
E I am so well, that me thinks I am in heaven.
G If you loue me, put on your hat.

I do it for my ease”; ”good my lord, for my ease”. The similarities of the passages, as well as the mention of “complexion” suggest a desire [...]

The author has the wording of the second quote wrong, not to mention the fact that the second quote belongs with the first passage and the first quote with the second passage.

BTW, and this is somewhat outside the purview of the article, I have no trouble believing that Shakespeare was edited here and there. He wrote for the company and the company owned the intellectual property. Others had access to it over the years, and people could change things to fit the needs of the moment. But clearly, anyone with at least half a brain can see that one person only was responsible for the style, the depth. No one at the time expressed any doubt even though there were detractors and jealous competitors. Ben Jonson opined once. Shakespeare had a volume of friends and followers.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 July 2013 04:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4470
Joined  2007-01-03

Yes, it looks like a good article. I won’t comment on the validity of the hypothesis that Florio edited the First Folio. That’s beyond my expertise and really requires someone who is immersed in the editorial history of Shakespeare’s plays.

Yes, the reporter has mucked up the quotations, but it’s not entirely his fault. Shakespeare’s works are almost always presented with modern spelling and form. The text as it appears in the folio (and it’s almost always the folio text that is used) rarely is given. The reporter seems to have gotten confused regarding the editions, an easy thing to do.

For instance, ”good my lord, for my ease” (Hamlet, 5.2.105) is what appears in my copy of The Riverside Shakespeare, or more completely, “Nay, good my lord, for my ease, in good faith.”

You have to go to the textual apparatus at the end of the play to see what the folio actually reads which is, “Nay, in good faith, for my ease in good faith.”

This part of the exchange doesn’t appear in either of the Hamlet quartos that I can tell. I don’t know what the basis is for Riverside’s emendation of this line.

(For reference, the exchange in Florio’s Second Fruits is on page 111. EEBO doesn’t have full text search for this work, so it’s hard to find.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 July 2013 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1190
Joined  2007-04-28

FWIW Frampton is not a Grauniad hack.

Saul Frampton’s When I Am Playing With My Cat, How Do I Know She Is Not Playing With Me? – about Montaigne – is published by Faber. He is writing a book about John Florio and Shakespeare.

it says at the end of the article so he shouldn’t have made made the gaffe Iron Pyrite spotted.

I was vaguely aware of Florio but didn’t know quite how influential he was

In all, the OED ascribes 1,224 first usages to Florio – words such as “judicious”, “management” and “transcription”, but also “masturbation” and “fucker”. In this, he is matched only by Chaucer and Shakespeare.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 July 2013 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  392
Joined  2007-10-20

Thanks for the explanation and doing the research, Dave. It makes a little more sense that Frampton made a small error when he had various texts in front of him.

VB: Thanks for providing the article. Florio was someone I had never heard of but obviously an important figure in Shakespeare’s time. I was being a little picky but felt justified in my demand for consistency when I saw he was working on a book covering the subject.

;-)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 July 2013 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4470
Joined  2007-01-03

Florio’s numerous first citations are largely due to his having written two Italian-English dictionaries, making him one of the first English lexicographers. Old dictionaries are low hanging fruit for later lexicographers, plus they tend to provide precise definitions, or in Florio’s case translations. I suspect that as more and more old books are digitized (for instance, most books on Early English Books Online (EEBO) aren’t searchable yet), his numbers for first citations will drop radically, more so than for Shakespeare and, especially, Chaucer—who having lived at time when an unprecedented number of words were being introduced to the language has a chronological advantage in this regard.

Still, he is a very important figure.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 July 2013 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2223
Joined  2007-01-30

The article is poppycock in my opinion. Hemmings and Condell worked with Shakespeare and knew the plays backwards. Why on earth would they have brought Florio in? (And I write as someone who loves Florio, his translation of Montaigne having been my bedside companion since youth. We know too that Shakespeare used Florio’s translation, as evidenced by passages in The Tempest). But the players bringing Florio in on an enterprise so dear to their hearts as this, an enterprise which they were well qualified to handle, none knowing the plays better? It’s a non-starter based on the flimsiest of foundations.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 July 2013 06:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3335
Joined  2007-01-29

Hemmings and Condell worked with Shakespeare and knew the plays backwards. Why on earth would they have brought Florio in?

Because, as the article says, he was an experienced editor and they were not.  I would certainly hope actors would have the good sense to bring in somebody more experienced with book production when trying to honor their late friend.  And do you have anything to say about the very interesting lexical evidence?  Frampton, as has been pointed out, is not a hack, he’s a scholar who’s writing a book about Florio and Shakespeare, and I’m pretty sure he’s aware of Hemmings and Condell.  I’m not saying that automatically makes him right, but I’m surprised at your readiness to dismiss him so categorically.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 July 2013 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  407
Joined  2007-02-14

Years ago, I came across a curious (typescript) book by Friderico Georgi William Shakespeare alias Mercutio Florio. It was at the library storage facilities for the northern campuses of the University of California. I don’t remember anything about it save its author’s name and the title. Googling suggested that the name is a pseudonym of one Franz Maximilian Saalbach.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 July 2013 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1190
Joined  2007-04-28

and I’m pretty sure he’s aware of Hemmings and Condel

Irony aside, they appear in the first sentence of the article. I’d never heard of the printers, though

I found the possible reference to Hamlet having acne interesting too. He often wrote for specific actors like Kemp and had Exit pursued by a bear when one was available. Maybe his Hamlet actor had zits unlike Richard Burton and all the other dashing fellows who have played him in our time. It would emphasize his youth etc etc and cast Ophelia in an even better light haw haw. Lit crit, eh?

Profile