IMT - In the Margin of Theatre

Team Leaders:

Silvia Bigliazzi (Professor of English Literature,  University of Verona

Felice Gambin (Professor of Spanish Literature, University of Verona) University of Verona)

Gherardo Ugolini (Professor of Classical Philology  University of Verona


Guido Avezzù (former Professor of Greek Literature, University of Verona)

Marco Duranti (Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Verona)

Federica Formiga (Professore associato di Archivistica, bibliografia e biblioteconomia, Università di Verona)

Isabel Hernando Morata (Post-doctoral Research Fellow of Spanish Literature, University of Verona)

Francesco Lupi (Post-doctoral Research Fellow of Classical Philology, University of Verona)

Cristiano Ragni English Literature Lecturer, University of Verona) 

Emanuel Stelzer (English Literature Lecturer, University of Verona) 


In the Margin of Theatre: IMT

Notes and marginal comments in early modern drama texts.

Early modern printed editions of ancient and Renaissance plays are often enriched with handwritten notes; whether they are interpretative or translative annotations, or textual corrections, they all display in extreme synthesis an exegetical attitude for private use, sometimes reflecting a teaching activity, sometimes offering personal thoughts, and in any case with no-one else in mind than the author himself/herself. Other likewise private notes can be found in notebooks referring to a particular text. These notes cross borders between textual hermeneutics and the exegesis of erudite texts calling for explanations, corrections and (re)contextualisations. Other notes, finally, are printed in the margins of the editions: only in a few cases do they derive from the author of the text, but in any case, whether authorial or editorial, they represent an embryonic comment – possibly exclamatory or cautionary – explicitly or implicitly addressed to a specific addressee: “lector intende!”. Differently from the footnote, they aim at achieving a direct, even ethical, contact with the addressee, rather than at providing the guidelines for a correct understanding.

All these annotations show yet another level of intersection, between scholarly research and theatrical practice, which provides an additional key to decoding the written text.

The project will produce digital archives and scholarly research about ancient and Renaissance authors and editions, including:

(A) inventories:

  1. of authors of manuscript marginalia,
  2. of authors and/or publishers of printed marginalia,
  3. of the authors/texts to which the marginalia are applied,
  4. of the printed editions with manuscript marginalia,
  5. of the handwritten notebooks that refer to one or more identifiable printed editions, and their authors.

(B) editions of the marginalia, either in their entirety or by selective probing that may prove or at least suggest their author and possibly acknowledge, if any, their critical influence.

Selected References

Bourne, Claire M. L. 2020. Typographies of Performance in Early Modern England. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Brayman Hackel, Heidi. 2005. Reading Material in Early Modern England: Print, Gender, and Literacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Estill, Laura. 2016. “Encoding the Edge: Manuscript Marginalia and the TEI”. Digital Literary Studies 1 (1). (Accessed 28 September 2021).

Goodwin, Mia. 2020. “Locating Digitised Marginalia”. In Marginal Notes: Social Reading and the Literal Margins, edited by Patrick Spedding and Paul Tankard. 261-78. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Grafton, Anthony. 2021. “The Margin as Canvas: A Forgotten Function of the Early Printed Page”. In Impagination: Layout and Materiality of Writing and Publication: Interdisciplinary Approaches from East and West, edited by Ku-ming (Kevin) Chang, Anthony Grafton and Glenn Warren Most, 185-208. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter.

— 2011. Humanists with Inky Fingers: The Culture of Correction in Renaissance Europe. Firenze: Olschki.

Greetham, D. C. ed. 1997. The Margins of the Text. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Hunter, G. K. 1951. “The Marking of Sententiae in Elizabethan Printed Plays, Poems, and Romances”. The Library 6 (3/4): 171-88.

Lesser, Zachary and Peter Stallybrass. 2008. “The First Literary Hamlet and the Commonplacing of Professional Plays”. Shakespeare Quarterly 59(4): 371-420.

Letrouit, Jean. 2019. “La prise de notes de cours sur support imprimé dans les collèges parisiens au XVIe siècle”, Revue de la Bibliothèque nationale de France 2 : 47-56

Maguire, Laurie. 2020. The Rhetoric of the Page. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Orgel, Stephen. 2005. The Reader in the Book: A Study of Spaces and Traces. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sherman, William H. 2008. Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

— 2002. “What Did Renaissance Readers Write in Their Books?”. In Books and Readers in Early Modern England: Material Studies, edited by Jennifer Andersen and Elizabeth Sauer, 119-137. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Slights, William E. 2001. Managing Readers: Printed Marginalia in English Renaissance Books. Ann Harbor: The University of Michigan Press. 

Tribble, Evelyn. 1993. Margins and Marginality: The Printed Page in Early Modern England. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.