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20 April 2015 @ 07:09 pm
in which I am still irritated by "Innogen"  
…You know, I am less and less convinced by the "Shakespeare must have meant 'Innogen' and not 'Imogen' in Cymbeline" argument every time I read anything written by Simon Forman. Today is the day in 1611 on which he recorded seeing the play, so someone on Twitter linked to his account. I guess we now have to start calling Banquo "Bancko," Macduff "Mack Dove," and Macbeth the "King of Codon" instead of the thane of Cawdor? I mean, Simon Forman said so.
a_t_raina_t_rain on April 20th, 2015 11:17 pm (UTC)
Silly, his name isn't Macbeth, it's Mackbet. Or maybe Mack Beth.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on April 20th, 2015 11:24 pm (UTC)
Ah, you're right - my mistake!
negothicknegothick on April 21st, 2015 02:05 am (UTC)
Let's hear it for phonetic spelling. West Country-man Raleigh wrote "vade" and "vall," and Banquo would have been pronounced Bancko, just as Jacques was pronounced to pun on jakes.
"Innogen" has to be transcription error for Imogen.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on April 21st, 2015 03:43 am (UTC)
I don't see why. The logic seems to be that because the name is "Innogen" in source material and in Forman's account, and because Shakespeare once used the name "Innogen" for a deleted character in Much Ado, Forman must have been right, and Shakespeare couldn't have decided to change the name in his sources or use a different version of the name in a different play. But Shakespeare uses two versions of the same name in other plays (Rosalind/Rosaline), and changes Cordell to Cordelia. (Also, a researcher has found that there are in fact several uses of "Imogen" in one of Shakespeare's sources, so…)

Forman is also inaccurate in his account of Macbeth - saying that the Macbeths literally cannot remove the blood from their hands, for example - so why is he totally trustworthy on the subject of "Innogen"? Why should I believe that the same transcription error occurred every time someone typeset the name of this character, based solely on external evidence (and not, say, rhymes that consistently fail to work unless you change the name, or puns that don't make sense)? I mean, sure, maybe it is a transcription error - but I don't see, at all, that this is so certain that editors have changed the character's name even in editions that are supposed to follow the Folio rigorously.
negothicknegothick on April 21st, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
I was being too cryptic. I meant it the other way around--how easy it is when writing cursive hand quickly to transpose two nn for one m or vice versa! Sorry for the confusion, since my other examples are phonetic spellings.

Edited at 2015-04-21 03:35 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on April 22nd, 2015 01:49 am (UTC)
Ah, I see! Thanks for the clarification. :)
a_t_raina_t_rain on April 21st, 2015 01:56 pm (UTC)
While we're on the topic, can I mention how crazy it makes me that the Norton Shakespeare turns Iachimo into Giacomo? There seems to me to be absolutely no textual justification for this.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on April 22nd, 2015 01:54 am (UTC)
I think the idea is literally "this is the modern form of Iachimo, so…change? For…reasons?" They do the same thing with "Petruccio," because why not change existing names for no good reason?
melancholy in the rainliseuse on April 21st, 2015 08:18 pm (UTC)
One of my PhD Supervisors edited the Cambridge Cymbeline so not only did I have to write about Cymbeline (which I will now and forever refer to in my head as Cymbe-fucking-line), I had to spell 'Imogen' as 'Innogen'.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on April 22nd, 2015 01:52 am (UTC)
Blargh. I remember being absurdly disappointed that the New Cambridge and the RSC editions went with "Innogen"; I'd sort of thought of that sort of cavalier renaming as the kind of thing that only the Oxford editions did. :)

(The RSC edition is especially ridiculous, since its whole selling point is adhering to Folio!)