Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Latest Project - Mod to Early Mod - Update


With a lack of subjects coming to mind at this point in time, due to various factors, I thought I would update on my current project. For those who don't know what it is, I am writing my own period manual in order to present it both in 16th century English and also in Modern English in order for the average reader to be able to appreciate the similarities between both and also the differences. The aim of this is in order to make period manuals more accessible. Interested in more detail, have a look at my previous blog on the subject (http://afencersramblings.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html).  Anyway this is an update on that particular project.

Progress has actually been made. I have finished the first draft of the manual in Modern English using the format of a Elizabethan period manual. What this means is really long paragraphs for the most part and also formatting it in the chapters as it would be in such a manual. This was an interesting process and caused me some consternation in the process. This was mainly due to the size of the paragraphs and lack of headings. I am expecting that there will be a few versions before I am really happy with it.

What is of most importance is that this manual is being based on my own theories and practices of fence based on my own experiences. This is going to result in a rather eclectic gathering of skills and theories as I have not focused on any one particular school of thought, but embraced as many as I could get my hands on. I will say, however, that it will be primarily of the Italian school with some influences from other schools such as the German, giving it a truly Elizabethan flavour. I will admit this multi-school approach has been influenced by my favourite Elizabethan theorist Vincentio Saviolo, who has evidence of a similar approach. This method has allowed me to write freely of my own experiences, theories and practices in this manual.

With the draft written I moved on to a study of Elizabethan English language. This is primarily based upon period texts and it is a work in process. I have begun the rather laborious process of extracting significant words and spellings from period sources in order to build a lexicon of language from the period which will be used to translate the modern into the Elizabethan. What should be noted is that this process is also allowing me to familiarise myself with the flow of the language and not just idiosyncratic spellings and other details. Some secondary sources will also be used for reference purposes for such things as grammar and punctuation "rules" and obscure words and so forth. What should be noted especially with regard to this is that it is actually this part which will more than likely turn out to be the longest part of the process. The hopeful result of this will be a lexicon/dictionary/guidebook of Elizabethan language which I hope will become useful for understanding more texts.
The truly hardest part of this process is staying focused. There are many things which can be very tempting to do otherwise and even drop the entire project when things get slow. This is usually when collecting the words and then transferring them into a format where they can be collected in order to reduce the chance of repeats. I am hoping that in the end the entire project will result in a useful text for both swordplay enthusiasts and also those with an interest in Elizabethan language, and allow me to look at text from that period with more knowledge.