Thursday, 18 November 2010

Evidence of Impact, A Decade Later

Way back in August of 2000 (four years before I finished my PhD!) I contributed to a discussion on the C18-List prompted by an exchange between Ellen Moody and Betty Rizzo about whether Frances Burney ought to be called Fanny Burney today. To me, this is a simple feminist argument. We don't use familiar names for male writers (Billy Shakespeare anyone?), so why should we do so for female writers?

As one contributor observed "Questions on the meaning of Fanny in the 18th c. are central." So I passed a few of the posts onto my cousin James Lambert, a lexicographer with an encyclopedic knowledge of sexual slang. He replied at some length, but those who wanted to believe that Fanny had an obscene meaning in the eighteenth century remained unconvinced. The debate shifted to Fanny Hill (is the name a pun?), and the true believers cited more dubious scholarship.

Eventually, the debate wearied the list and it died out. James and I went away, read the articles mentioned, remained skeptical and—some months later—said so. But the debate was over. Nobody who believed that Fanny was an obscene pun in the eighteenth century was interested in debating the subject online.

Early in the debate, John Dussinger had asked: "Won't some brilliant person on this list write an essay on the use of 'Fanny' in our long period?" This seemed like an excellent idea, so James and I decided that is what we would do. The only problem was, we were both rather busy so … *cough* … it was March 2007 before I started working on my part of the article and March 2008 before the first draft of the article was ready for submission.

We sent it to Studies in Philology who sent it off for refereeing and in October 2010 they graciously accepted the article, agreeing to publish it in their first number of 2011. We have just sent off the final galley edits and, all going well, our article will be printed just over a decade after John posed his challenge.

When I was attempting to answer John's question, I realised that we needed to consult the original songbooks that provide the earliest evidence for the obscene use of the word Fanny (in the early nineteenth century). I was unable to do so because I do not live in London (the songbooks are in the British Library) and they have never been published in full.

So, I suggested to a colleague in musicology that we should propose to Pickering and Chatto a full edition of these bawdy songbooks. Pickering and Chatto were delighted with the idea, the proposal was accepted, work is now underway and this four-volume edited collection will be published in the first half of 2011.

* * * * *

A few months ago I filled in the final report for my ARC grant. I held off on doing this for as long as possible, because the central questions in that report concern "Research Outputs" and "Evidence of Impact." The only "Impact" that the ARC is interested in is the impact of your research on others, and so the "Evidence" and "Outputs" that the ARC are interested in take the form of published books, articles, chapters, reviews and citations of the same etc.

The ARC are not interested in anything that has been researched, written, submitted, or even accepted, only items that have been printed or are being printed now. All of which is well and good in its way, but you are supposed to submit this report on your global impact immediately, on the day your money stops!

When it can take a decade—as here—between the prompt for an article and its publication, and when it can take three years between the submission of an article and it being printed, there seems little chance that an ARC final report, submitted on the day your funding stops, will capture even a fraction of your "Research outputs" and, as for "Evidence of Impact," it could be years again before any of the arguments we have presented gain any traction.

Which is why questions like these seem so stupid. It is also why filling in reports, and answering questions like these, is so disheartening. I am terribly sorry, I only managed to get half a dozen conference papers presented, three articles published, an exhibition and an international conference organised, but according to the citation indexes compiled a day or two after these articles were published: nope, no impact.

This is also why, no doubt, it seems like anyone whose speech is not peppered with "affectless references to DEST points, citation indices, ERA rankings, ARC applications …" is either a failure or a radical who belongs to one of the "secretive cells of idealistic academics" that Joseph Gora and Andrew Whelan have written about here.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Haywood Bibliography Note 6

In my Bibliography of Eliza Haywood I explain that Ab.59 The Fortunate Foundlings (1744) was translated into French under the title Les Heureux Orphelins (1754) and then was translated back into English under the title The Happy Orphans in 1758. Throughout the nineteenth century, this translation was published under the title Edwin and Lucy; Or, The Happy Orphans.

Since The Happy Orphans is only distantly related to The Fortunate Foundlings I did not list editions of it in the main sequence of my Bibliography. Instead, I listed them in Appendix D (entries Ed.59.12a–Ed.59.16).

Almost all editions are uncommon, so it is not surprising that I have seen only two for sale in the last decade. The one (illustrated here) which I bought is unrecorded and has been added to my revised Bibliography. The one I didn't buy—a copy of Ed.59.12a, mistakenly attributed to Edward Kimber—is still available for £2000 here.

Since my copy of Ed.59.17 is both unique and pretty, I am including a few pictures of it here, as well as adding a corrected entry for Appendix D to my Haywood Bibliography, Addenda and Corrigenda page.

[UPDATE: 2 July 2016: After all my pictures disappeared again I decided to give up on external hosts for large versions (1000px) of my image files and, for now on, will stick with the smaller images (500px), which Blogger is prepared to host.]

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Faust Tradition

Study Guides, Essays and Notes

Faust. This site has it all: sections on the Legend of Faust, Books, Music, Theatre, Art, Film, Games

See also Cummings study guide

Prose Faust Texts, Chapbooks etc. in English

The history of the damnable life, and deserved death of Dr. John Faustus. Newly printed, and in convenient places, impertinent matter amended, according to the true copy, printed at Frankford; and translated into English, by P.R. gent. (London: Printed by C. Brown; for M. Hotham, at the Black Boy on London-bridge, and sold by the booksellers, [ca. 1700]) in Early English Prose Romances, edited by William John Thoms (London: Nattali and Bond, 1858), vol. 1, 151–300. [Wing H2156]

The Second Report of Doctor Iohn Faustus, containing his appearances, and the deedes of Wagner. VVritten by an English gentleman student in VVittenberg an Vniuersity of Germany in Saxony. Published for the delight of all those which desire nouelties by a frend of the same gentleman. (London: Printed by Abell Ieffes, for Cuthbert Burby, and are to be sold at the middle shop at Saint Mildreds Church by the stockes, 1594) in Early English Prose Romances, edited by William John Thoms (London: Nattali and Bond, 1858), vol. 1, 302–414. [STC 10715]

The History of Dr. John Faustus: Shewing how he sold himself to the devil, … Also, strange things done by him, and his servant Mephistopholes. With an account how the devil came for him, and tore him to pieces (Derby: Printed in the year, 1787)

History of DR. FAUSTUS Shewing His wicked Life and horrid Death, and how he sold himself to the devil, to have power for 24 years to do what he pleased, also many strange things done by him with the assistance of MEPHISTOPHELES. With an account how the Devil came for him at the end of 24 years, and tore him to pieces (n.d. [18C?]) in Amusing Prose Chap-Books, Chiefly of Last Century, edited by Robert Hays (London: Hamilton Adams, 1889), 286–98.

Marlowe's Faustus

Christopher Marlowe, The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, [A1, the 1604 quarto text] edited by Alexander Dyce (London, mid-19C).

Christopher Marlowe, The Tragicall History of D. Faustus [A text] ed. Hilary Binda (2010?)

Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, [B1, the 1616 quarto text] edited by Alexander Dyce (London, mid-19C).

Christopher Marlowe, The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus [B text] ed. Hilary Binda (2010?)

Other British Faust texts

William Mountfort, The Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, Made into a Farce, in Six Plays, Written by Mr. Mountfort, 2 vols. (1720)

Goethe's Faustus

Faust, in the original metres, Translated by Bayard Taylor (pre-1878).

Faust Parts I & II (2003). A complete translation by A. S. Kline, with line numbers, and full stage directions.

Other European Faust texts

Historia vnd Geschicht Doctor Johannis Faustj des Zauberers An edition in German (with a translation into English) by Prof. Harry Haile, University of Illinois, based on the Wolfenb├╝ttel Manuscript (1580s).

Das Volksbuch von Dr. Faust (um 1580)

[UPDATED 18 June 2013]

Friday, 12 November 2010

How much for five used Condoms?

I will leave it up to you to decide how much emphasis you read into my title, and where you place the emphasis: whether you read it as a loud and incredulous rhetorical question—or a polite enquiry—concerning the price, or whether it is a disgusted response to the fact that it is five used condoms that sold, but the answer is the same: 2000 Euros or A$2750 for five condoms. That is 400 Euros or A$550 each.

On 9 November 2010 the Palais Dorotheum auctioned off the following lot

Lot No. 131: Five c. 1900 air bladder Condoms in original cardboard box with maker’s label. Size (of box!) c. 26 x 6 cm. Estimate EUR 300,- to 500

As I said, the realized price was 2000 Euros. The sale, which appeared under the heading of "Antique Scientific Instruments, Models and Globes" [actually, "historische wissenschaftliche instrumente und globen"], attracted a good deal of attention. (See here and here.) Enough, in fact, for me to hear about it before 9 November. I did consider bidding a fraction above the range, but knew I would be wasting my time. It is a consolation that I was right.

The condoms would have been useful as an example of the longevity of "skins" (condoms made from fish, sheep or pig gut) and of the longevity of the practice of cleaning and reusing them (a common practice in the eighteenth century). As such, it would have made a nice illustration in the book I am planning on this subject. Oh well.

Thankfully—as you can see—the Palais Dorotheum have supplied a very high resolution image. From this and the commentary online it appears that the former owner of these five condoms kept a careful tally of how many times he used each one. And it looks like they were only supposed to be reused ten times! Lovely. (The image below is slightly larger than life-size.)

[UPDATE: 2 July 2016: After all my pictures disappeared again I decided to give up on external hosts for large versions (1000px) of my image files and, for now on, will stick with the smaller images (500px), which Blogger is prepared to host.]

Thursday, 11 November 2010

University, a vocational charnel house?

Joseph Gora and Andrew Whelan have written an amusing piece for The Australian under the title Invasion of Aca-zombies (as in, invasion of the Academic Zombies).

UNIVERSITIES are increasingly populated by the undead: a listless population of academics, managers, administrators and students, all shuffling to the beat of the corporatist drum … Academic zombie speech is peppered with affectless references to DEST points, citation indices, ERA rankings, ARC applications, esteem factors, FoR codes, AUQA reviews and the like. […]

The most curious aspect of this zombie plague, though, is … the pockets of resistance it fails to quash. A tutorial here, textbook marginalia there, crack squads of indomitable postgrads, secretive cells of idealistic academics and even the odd public intellectual: all scattered signs that intelligent life persists. Occasionally it is necessary, as in Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead, to pass as undead to survive.

Of course, I like to think of myself as belonging to one of the secretive cells of idealistic academics in this vocational charnel house. So, I am probably a zombie and deluded.