The Third Book I've Read in 2020.



Books New year, new project. Collecting together birthday and Christmas money, I've invested in the remastered boxset of the Argo Shakespeare from the 1950s and 1960s (see here - fortunately I got in while the price was a bit more reasonable than it is now).  These are perfectly lucid if a bit dated readings of the texts and so I'm using it to crack on with the Arden Third Series editions I've been collecting over the years. 

The Arden 3 Othello is pretty conventional for this series with a lit-crit heavy introduction, dry discussion of the two extant texts and comparison with sources at the back and a theatrical discussion relying on playbooks from producions before the turn of the last century (despite photos of more contemporary productions). 

For 1997 it's also pretty musty, focusing on the the "giants" of Shakespeare criticism and a dated use of language around race.  There's particularly no discussion on the implications of blackface beyond trying to decide if Othello is actually "a black" (their words) or of a more "olive" complexion.  Even in the year of publication this must have felt dated.

Having suffered through this, I've since discovered that a revised edition with a new introduction was produced in 2016, so I now have that on order.  I'm a completist.  Having announced a fourth series, it's interesting that they're still updating the third, not to mention still publishing new editions.  Measure for Measure is out at the end of this month.

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