Again, Thomas Thorpe’s edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets is our only source. He numbers them, anyone can guess whether Thorpe’s order is Shakespeare’s. Thorpe put what we call the Fair Love sonnets first: a hundred and a quarter of them. A couple of dozen more sonnets follow: the Dark Lady sonnets.
If you came upon Sonnet 119 but didn’t see it’s number, where would you guess it should be placed?
For the most part, my reading does not depend on order, on sequence, it is not linear. For my reading, you could shuffle the pages, my reading points would remain.
This starts as a scrapbook, I launch a couple of points, will add others as they tickle me.
Sonnet 1, Thorpe put first; but no one claims that it was the first sonnet written. It’s the first of a group on procreation as a duty for the well-genes, but it does not initiate a narrative. There is no beginning, middle, and end.
When Rembrant executed an etching, he proofed it, then signed one he found acceptable: Number #1. Then #2. By the time he pulled #9, control of the plate would be eluding him. He’d stop. It would therefore become an edition of 9. First there was an artist proof so there’d actually be around ten of them pulled. At auction a #1 in good shape will fetch more than a #9 in good shape. In modern graphic publishing the number on the lithograph has no more significance than did my house humber as a child: 206. My house was not the 206 on the street, it was not the 206 built … It was just arbitrary, an address, an identification.
Think of the Sonnets’ numbers as addresses. Also consider that a particular number might have significance. Maybe, but be skeptical.
2016 05 14 I suspend the menus and menus of menus till I can complete them, even half way, if ever.