Navigating the Book-Space: Reading Shakespeare Online

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that, ‘there is creative reading as well as creative writing’ (179). Reading is an exercise in the imagination; it involves just as much labour and invention as composing a sestina. With digitization and hypertext, the nature of reading is changing: how we make sense and derive meaning from texts depends on the verbal and nonverbal codes embedded in those texts, and our understanding of materiality. My project is concerned with mediation and the material transactions that occur between texts and readers: specifically, those of Shakespeare. By examining current digitization projects in conjunction with critical theory, I will argue that the twenty-first-century reader is also the editor of his/her own text. The purpose of my thesis is not to affect an answer but to articulate a question: what modes of reading do we practice when we encounter online versions of Shakespeare? Continue reading

Mediating Shakespeare: From Book to Screen

‘To print a text differently is to print a different text.’ – Stephen Orgel

There is a permanent indentation in my Arden copy of Henry V. When I lay it out flat at my kitchen table, the pages fall of their own accord to the opening chorus lines: Continue reading

Theory vs Practice: The Problematic with Regards to Textual Analysis and Shakespeare

I have spent the larger part of the past month agonizing over the subject of my honours thesis: what are the issues most important to me, in which area do I want to specialize? With each passing day, I find myself doodling in my class notes, dreaming up potential topics: modernism & Shakespeare, Place Theory, “The Taxonomy of Genre,” Spenserian allegory sprinkled with pagan ritual and Celtic mythology . . . the list goes on. What I end up with (most evenings) are scraps of yellow paper, a half-filled journal full of existential ranting, a neurotic cat meowing for bedtime, and a series of essays that I should be working on in stead of this blog. Continue reading