Parallel Comparisons When You Really Need Them

One of the enormous limitations of print involves the problems in displaying parallel texts, a failing which I have only just begun to appreciate with the arrival of the galleys of my book. Despite my painstaking wordprocessing manipulations to create parallel comparisons across an array of texts from the Folio through the mid-nineteenth century performance editions, the press confined my glorious examples haphazardly to four-inch square boxes--and thus created a random rather than a sequential array of speech variations. All in all, five different figures will appear in print refigured in ways that do not represent the comparisons which the following electronic pages achieve with ease (although only in Netscape): Such sequences show the evolution of certain key speeches through the performance editions. They can also indicate placement for additions (as in Antonio's pardon) and small but crucial variations in phrasing in context (as in Antonio's explanation for following Sebastian). I can even include the Lacy typographical error in my table for Antonio's pardon--even though I eliminated it from the figure for the book because it took up too much space. Thus the spatial expansion possible on an computer screen page is useful not only for the parallel texts now advocated by noted textual bibliographers but also proves crucial for critical arguments based on other kinds of texts.

If you have any comments, please send them to Laurie Osborne

breaking out of the text