Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: January ::
Re: Psalm 46
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0027  Thursday, 7 January 1999.

From:           Syd Kasten <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 7 Jan 1999 08:31:26 +0200 (IST)
Subject:        Re: Psalm 46

Thanks to Paul Franssen for his relating to my question as to the origin
of the 46th Psalm thing, and for pointing me to Anthony Burgess' use of
it:

>As far as I have been able to establish, the idea seems to have
>originated with Anthony Burgess, in his Shakespeare biography (simply
>entitled Shakespeare) of 1970; see pp. 233-34. It is of course possible
>that Burgess got it from some earlier source, but he does not say so.
>Burgess then used the idea to good effect in his hilarious Shakespeare
>story, "Will and Testament," which is embedded in his novel Enderby's
>Dark Lady (1984).

However, it surely was not a product of Burgess' fertile mind. My memory
seems to connect it with a book I read, probably somewhere between 1944
and 1946, on cyphers, codes and cryptograms, possibly of that name. The
46th Psalm thing was given as an example of encryption. I read the book
at the time of life when I had not yet learned that the name of the
author was at least as important as the title, and before losing the
innocent idea that anything in print is true.  I don't remember there
being footnotes or bibliography.

This takes us back a bit over 12.5% of he time elapsed since the
publication of the King James' Version.  Is there anyone out there who
can take it back further?

Best wishes,
Syd Kasten
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.