Grzegorz Koneczniak

Prompting in/ex/Tensions of the Manuscript. Literary and Editorial Approaches to Selected Early Play Scripts of the Abbey Theatre

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Grzegorz Koneczniak

Prompting in/ex/Tensions of the Manuscript. Literary and Editorial Approaches to Selected Early Play Scripts of the Abbey Theatre

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This book, whose slashed part of the title refers to Allen Tate’s idea of poetic tension, “derived from lopping the prefixes off the logical terms extension and intension” (Tate 1938: 283; italics in the original; see also Markowski 2006: 140–141), addresses various dimensions of prompting and its techniques preserved in the old play scripts of the Abbey Theatre. They were both encoded inside the plots of the dramatic works and inscribed on the pages of the unique typographical, textual and graphic composite constructs. The research presented stems from an exploration of the duality of intention and tension within literary and editorial studies. The two concepts relate to the thematic dimensions (the motif of tension in literature) as well as theoretical literary and textual problems (the question of intent and intention in literary interpretation and editorial research). “Tension” and “intention” in literature have been considered in various manners depending on a given theoretical approach. Their treatment should require a specific approach and methodology if literary works – plays, to be more specific – subject to a critical and interpretative examination are encapsulated within the unique forms of manuscripts whose original function was to guide the stage managers, prompters, or actors through the complex process of rehearsing and producing dramas at the theatre.

Acknowledgments / 7
Introduction / 9

Chapter One
Prompting and the Intention of the Manuscript / 31
1. Prompt Books and Prompters / 31
2. Intentions inside the Prompt Manuscript / 52

Chapter two
Typographical and Editorial Concretisation and Extension: “Fixity” and “Paratext” / 73
1. “The New Typography” and the Play Scripts of the Abbey Theatre / 74
2. Concretising the Literary and the Editorial Complexities / 85
3. The “Tension of Typographical Un/Fixity” / 96
4. Traditional Folios and Their Digital Extensions / 115

Chapter three
Prompting, Tensions and Extensions in the Abbey Theatre’s Manuscripts / 125
1. Epitextual Prompting: The Manuscripts of An Rí by Patrick Pearse and In the Shadow of the Glen by John Millington Synge /129
2. Faked Personality and Unfaked Prompting: The Manuscript of The Doctor in Spite of Himself in Gregory’s Adaptation (1906) / 151
3. Prompting: The Manuscript of The Unicorn from the Stars by Lady Augusta Gregory and William Butler Yeats (1907) / 171
4. “Cracked” Prompting: The Manuscript of Gregory’s The Full Moon (1910) / 186
5. Discovered Prompting: The Manuscript of A Family Failing by William Boyle (1912) / 204
6. Prompting Originality inside Translation: The Manuscript of The Post Office by Rabindranath Tagore (1913)  239
7. Ephemeral Prompting: The Manuscript of W. P. Ryan’s The Jug of Sorrow (1914) / 264
8. From Damaged Prompting to Limited Extension: In Search of the Digital Folio Application / 280

Conclusion / 309
References / 319
Appendix 1 / 333
Appendix 2 / 335

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