THIS POST IS THE SIXTH (AND FINAL) IN A SERIES OF DAILY CONFERENCE RE-CAPS WRITTEN BY EARLY EARLY CAREER SCHOLARS ATTENDING THIS YEAR'S CONFERENCE.
By Kilian Schindler
Friday marked already the fourth and, alas, last day of the conference. But far from causing conference ennui, the programme persistently confronted us with the question who or what Marlowe is. My first session of the day was a roundtable on editing, featuring Peter Kirwan, Ruth Lunney, and Paul Menzer, all of whom are currently editing Marlowe plays. As editors have a habit of doing, all of them problematised the notion that we have immediate access to a pure, Marlovian essence through his texts. Common concerns shared by all three editors were questions of boundaries and continuities and an awareness that editing always involves negotiations and compromises, acts of selection and delimitation. Ruth Lunney, who is preparing the first critical single-volume edition of Dido, Queen, of Carthage for Revels Plays, probed the issue in relation to the play’s sources. Peter Kirwan, who is editing Doctor Faustus for The Routledge Anthology of Renaissance Drama, was preoccupied with the place and function of the play in the context of an anthology and the narrative which it implies. Paul Menzer, who is editing the B-text of Doctor Faustus for New Mermaids, drew attention to the constraints of the paradigm of the single-text edition, but also emphasised the value of the physical book as an object that performs its own boundaries and reveals itself as a product of processes of selection and exclusion. Read More