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Rapport sur la thèse de Madame Beatrice Mondoro: "Dramatic Extracting and the Reception of Early Modern English Drama"

Abstract : Résumé de la thèse: "Dramatic Extracting and the Reception of Early Modern English Drama" builds on recent work on the transmission of early modern dramatic texts by, for instance, Laura Estill (2015), Jean-Christophe Mayer (2018) and András Kiséry (2019), and it is the first study to directly challenge currently accepted ideas about the role that dramatic extracting played in the promotion both of canon formation and of the ‘literary’ status of early modern drama. More generally, this thesis demonstrates the importance of studying the archive in order to offer more inclusive and detailed narratives about how early modern drama was received in its own time. It shares Heidi Brayman Hackel’s (2005) belief that the investigation of the multiple, individual histories of the habits of reading as suggested by archival evidence can help us gain a more complex and historicised vision of notions of reading, and of the reception of texts more generally, in the early modern period. This study offers detailed case studies of miscellanies and commonplace books from the first half of the seventeenth century, directly placing in comparison both printed and manuscript examples (which have typically been treated separately), to give a fuller account of the practice of dramatic extracting and its evolution over five decades, from its earlier and more theoretical manifestations in print to its later and more practical instances in manuscript form. This thesis shows that if, at first, printed collections advertised a canon of early modern drama and attempted to promote it to a ‘literary status’, then the practice of dramatic extracting in manuscript collections encouraged diverse, sometimes personal approaches towards, and uses of, dramatic texts, suggesting that the status of drama was more diverse and shifting, and the canons many and more varied than has previously been acknowledged. Each chapter is organised around one fundamental thematic aspect of the practice of dramatic extracting, which is explored through the close analysis of key case studies. This analysis examines a variety of individual responses to drama in order to highlight patterns and tendencies, and to distinguish recurrent behaviour within the practice of dramatic extracting from individual choices and practices. This, in turn, allows for a deeper, and more multi- faceted and historicised, understanding of notions of popularity, appropriation, circulation and the evaluation of drama in these compilations, and enables a reappraisal of certain critical orthodoxies of the subject. Ultimately, each chapter discusses the larger implications of the results observed in the analysis of the archival evidence: chapters 1 and 2 examine how collections were created, and also contribute more broadly to the discussion of textual malleability in the early modern period, the status of authorship and non-authorial literary production and reception, and finally the status of drama as a cultural category (genre). Chapters 3 and 4 explore how the practice was received by playwrights, how popular it was, and how it affected the popularity of drama. Together these chapters contribute to our understanding of canon formation and the cultural and social role of early modern drama.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03098072
Contributor : Jean-Christophe Mayer <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 3:59:08 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 22, 2021 - 10:52:02 AM

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Public Domain

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  • HAL Id : halshs-03098072, version 1

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CNRS | LARA | IRCL

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Jean-Christophe Mayer. Rapport sur la thèse de Madame Beatrice Mondoro: "Dramatic Extracting and the Reception of Early Modern English Drama". [University works] Oxford University, Somerville College. 2020. ⟨halshs-03098072⟩

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