First Folio Readers' Marks: Monumentalizing Shakespeare and Empowering the Self

Abstract : This article focuses on annotated First Folio editions of Shakespeare’s works. Most of the inscriptions in these volumes date back to the period between 1623 and the 1780s when these volumes became “black boxes” of early modern human self-expression and identity. The essay first maps out the broad aspects of the material world of readers, showing how mundane and textual objects circulate and coalesce with traces of human activity. Then, it examines some of the traces left by early readers and their effects. Indeed, “graffiti” in early editions of Shakespeare in particular can have a monumentalizing effect on the work, but can also empower readers’ selves. Building on these discussions, the article throws light on the intimate transactions between selfhood, the Shakespearean text and the world. This leads to a study of social networks, but also of readers’ uses of figures in their editions and their relation to dates and time. It concludes on the idea that some readers’ use of their First Folios as semi-private diaries helped them develop a sense of existence and that such practices could well be considered as experiments in life writing.
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Article dans une revue
Literaria Pragensia, Univerzita Karlova v Praze, 2014, From Consumerism to Corpora: Uses of Shakespeare, 24 (47), pp.4-26. 〈http://litteraria-pragensia.ff.cuni.cz/front.issue/detail/49〉
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01398924
Contributeur : Jean-Christophe Mayer <>
Soumis le : vendredi 18 novembre 2016 - 08:37:25
Dernière modification le : jeudi 11 janvier 2018 - 06:15:47

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01398924, version 1

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Jean-Christophe Mayer. First Folio Readers' Marks: Monumentalizing Shakespeare and Empowering the Self. Literaria Pragensia, Univerzita Karlova v Praze, 2014, From Consumerism to Corpora: Uses of Shakespeare, 24 (47), pp.4-26. 〈http://litteraria-pragensia.ff.cuni.cz/front.issue/detail/49〉. 〈halshs-01398924〉

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