Chapter 9 -- Shakespeare, poetic collaboration and The Passionate Pilgrim
Connor, Francis X.
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Francis X. Connor. (2014). Shakespeare, Poetic Collaboration and The Passionate Pilgrim. In: Peter Holland (ed.) Shakespeare Survey. pp. 119-130. [Online]. Shakespeare Survey. (No. 67). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available from: Shakespeare Survey Online <http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/SSO9781107775572.009>
Any literary endeavour requires collaboration, but not all collaborators deserve topline or title-page credit. To read a literary text may mean we engage intellectually with a publisher, typesetter, actor or any other agent responsible for such collaborations; that is, such non-authorial agents may inform our reading of the text in a way that seems important to understanding the text, or we may know through external evidence that the author intended for these elements to be necessary for the interpretation of his text. However, reading a text must mean that we engage with the author. Because of this, co-authorship – which I define as two or more authors sharing responsibility for writing a single work – is almost certainly the mode of collaboration of most interest to Shakespearians. In identifying Shakespeare’s contributions to plays in which he is supposed to have contributed as an author, co-authorship (perhaps somewhat paradoxically) places William Shakespeare, the flesh-and-blood author, unambiguously at the centre of literary studies of his work.
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