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The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington has undertaken a publishing venture that could breathe new life into classroom study of the Bard's works.

New editions of Shakespeare's plays, produced by the library and Washington Square Press, will incorporate the latest research on early folios of the plays. In some cases, the editors of the series have found notable changes in the text. In previous editions, for example, a line from "Hamlet'' reads, "This too too solid flesh.'' But the new edition restores the line to its original form: "This too too sullied flesh.'' Characters' original names have been restored as well, including Robin Goodfellow, who is perhaps better known as Puck.

The New Folger Library Shakespeare series continues a 35-year publishing tradition. In this updated series, the first plays published will be six high school perennials, "Julius Caesar,'' "The Taming of the Shrew,'' "Hamlet,'' "The Merchant of Venice,'' "Macbeth,'' and "Romeo and Juliet.''

Each publication will contain, in addition to the text, a section on "Reading Shakespeare's Language'' and a "Modern Perspective'' essay that examines each play in light of current interests and concerns. The new editions will retain a popular feature of the Folger series, facing-page explanatory notes.

Copies of the first six editions are available for $3.99 each from Washington Square Press, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020. Four to six new editions will be added each year, for a total of approximately 40 works.

How the federal courts have ruled in cases involving public-school students is summarized in a resource publication now available from the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

Written by an attorney and legal research associate, Student Rights Under the Constitution: Selected Federal Decisions Affecting the Public School Community offers advice and information on the legal protections involved in such areas as corporal punishment; freedom of expression; search and seizure; possession of drugs, alcohol, and weapons; student drug testing; and due process before suspension or expulsion.

Copies of the booklet are available from the institute for $11.95 plus a 5 percent shipping charge. Contact the Publications Program, 201 N. Milledge Ave., Athens, Ga. 30602.

A "Lifetime Reader'' board game will be the end product of a two-year survey of favorite authors undertaken by the Library of Congress's Center for the Book and Friends of the Library USA, a national organization that supports the creation of local library groups.

The groups will be distributing ballots at book fairs and library-sponsored events over the next two years, asking readers to name "three authors whose books you like to read and reread.'' Results will be included in the literary-minded board game for all ages, to be developed in 1994.

Those without ballots can send the names of their three favorite "authors for a lifetime'' to the Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540-8200.--óŸëŸçŸ

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