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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: February ::
Re: Shakespeare Prequel Contest
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0380  Tuesday, 22 February 2000.

From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Feb 2000 18:29:23 -0500
Subject: 11.0369 Re: Shakespeare Prequel Contest
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0369 Re: Shakespeare Prequel Contest

>...I am constantly amazed at the number of writers who consider themselves
>"serious" in their intent and yet are so desperate to get that byline
>that they'd jump at a crumb like this...

As a member of the latest generation of Shakespeareans struggling
through grad school, I am not amazed.  Leaving aside the question of
publishing one's poetry, those of us who have gotten our first glimpse
of the marketplace in Shakespeare criticism may develop a suspicion that
there is a considerable glut of other serious writers trying to write
serious things about Shakespeare.

As is becoming clear among the various adjunct, part-timer, and grad
school lists to which I subscribe, the University system does not base
its recruitment on the demands of the marketplace, either in teaching or
publication.  In a system which tells you first: "publish or perish,"
and later: "publish a book that sells to Barnes and Noble customers or
perish," it should not surprise anyone that writers should be subjected
to the same forms of exploitation as junior instructors or interns at
radio stations (i.e. work for nothing now, and it will lead to money
later).

Surveying the field, however, it is hard to believe that anyone other
than the Harold Bloom and Stephan Greenblatt superstars are going to
make any kind of living at this particular form of doctoring.  So why
should I hoard up my intellectual property for a future dream of
notoriety which looks ever more like a lottery ticket?  By tossing it
away on the breeze, at least my ideas will become associated with my
name and may open up further opportunities.

Clifford Stetner
 

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