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n.1.The book used by a prompter of a theater.
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cried the little man, with a hearty smack of his hand on the prompt-book.
Miss Podsnap faintly ejaculated: when Mrs Lammle took the prompt-book.
Shakespeare versus Multiple Authorship: Prompt-book and Performance
The author's intentions may have been over-determined by a knowledge of the player's capability; the composer of the prompt-book's intentions--if indeed the prompt-book was in any way an intermediate stage between author and compositor--may have been occasioned by theatrical practice, and the compositor's intentions will almost certainly have been over-determined by the practice of the printing-house.
7) However, since the prompt-book appears to be lost and the broadcast recording has not been preserved, the production cannot be reconstructed in anything more than general terms.
In The Shakespeare First Folio Greg himself observes that the "bookkeeper seems to have annotated exactly as though he were dealing with a prompt-book," but he attempts to explain the supplementations by suggesting that that the duplications are made "as though the transcript were certain to follow the original page for page.
Depending on the proximity of the prompt-book that contains the play-text to the time of the premiere, a play-text can reflect the final version of a production to a lesser or greater extent.
Embedded in the back cover are two delightful lagniappes: a Billy Wilder cartoon bookmark and a perfect facsimile of Marilyn Monroe's prompt-book complete with the diva's handwritten notes.
This means that the text is thoroughly modernized and theatrical versions are preferred over authorial ones: "the Oxford editors prefer, when there is a choice, copy based on the prompt-book to copy based on the author's own draft" (72) .
Thus the Folio's placement of the stage direction indicates when the actors begin conveying the corpses, as we would expect from a text whose fair copy derived from a theatrical prompt-book.
Wilson's vision of Kempe as the figure of radical instability does not end here, however, for as Wilson says, "if an addition was made to this 'assembled' prompt-book at one place, why not at others?
McGann's notion of the "social text," they argued that "dramatic texts are necessarily the most socialized of all literary forms" and thus sought to recover, in their edition, the text that they felt was "closer to the prompt-book of Shakespeare's company.