This book, whose slashed part of the title refers to Allen Tate’s idea of poetic tension, “derived from lopping the prefixes off the logical terms extension and intension” (Tate 1938: 283; italics in the original; see also Markowski 2006: 140–141), addresses various dimensions of prompting and its techniques preserved in the old play scripts of the Abbey Theatre. They were both encoded inside the plots of the dramatic works and inscribed on the pages of the unique typographical, textual and graphic composite constructs. The research presented stems from an exploration of the duality of intention and tension within literary and editorial studies. The two concepts relate to the thematic dimensions (the motif of tension in literature) as well as theoretical literary and textual problems (the question of intent and intention in literary interpretation and editorial research). “Tension” and “intention” in literature have been considered in various manners depending on a given theoretical approach. Their treatment should require a specific approach and methodology if literary works – plays, to be more specific – subject to a critical and interpretative examination are encapsulated within the unique forms of manuscripts whose original function was to guide the stage managers, prompters, or actors through the complex process of rehearsing and producing dramas at the theatre.
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