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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: June ::
Re: Article of Interest
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1202  Monday, 12 June 2000.

[1]     From:   Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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        Date:   Friday, 9 Jun 2000 10:44:55 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1196 Re: Article of Interest

[2]     From:   Richard Nathan <
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        Date:   Friday, 09 Jun 2000 15:02:41 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1196 Re: Article of Interest

[3]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Friday, 9 Jun 2000 11:20:11 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1196 Re: Article of Interest

[4]     From:   Louis Marder <
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        Date:   Friday, 9 Jun 2000 17:23:10 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1173 What Happened?

[5]     From:   Brian R. Page <
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        Date:   Friday, 9 Jun 2000 23:51:28 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1172 Article of Interest


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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Date:           Friday, 9 Jun 2000 10:44:55 -0400
Subject: 11.1196 Re: Article of Interest
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1196 Re: Article of Interest

For one whose high school students are all too often suckered by mass
media (including _Shakespeare in Love_, as delightful a fiction as it
waa), this question is not just "uninteresting" but also annoying.

Students find conspiracy-theory thinking remarkably attractive; once
they find themselves such a theory it's really difficult to get them to
look at evidence regardless of how compelling that might shake their
theories (and yes, I know the Oxfordians among others will say the same
of us Stratfordians-- that's not the point here).

Consequently, I say to my students as I say now to this list:

The internal evidence that the same hand wrote the entire body of work
labeled "Shakespeare" is compelling.  Who the individual was who wrote
them is of less importance than what this body of work says, in its
individual components and in its entirety.  Hence, I am content to say
"Shakespeare wrote the plays" without worrying overmuch about who
"Shakespeare" might be.

To waste precious class time on who wrote the plays is to leave
ourselves less of that vital commodity to consider the plays themselves;
in the interests of efficiency, if nothing else, I say let the
authorship question fester as it will in the minds and pens of those to
whom it signifies; for my purposes it is at best incidental.

Marilyn A. Bonomi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Nathan <
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Date:           Friday, 09 Jun 2000 15:02:41 +0000
Subject: 11.1196 Re: Article of Interest
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1196 Re: Article of Interest

My thanks to David Evett to responding to my question concerning
Shakespeare's Globe.  (Sorry for saying, "Old Globe."  I live in
Southern California, where there's been an "Old Globe" theater for
decades, and when I type "Globe" I tend to automatically type "Old"
before it.)

I asked the question because I'd read in BRITISH HERITAGE Magazine that
there would be an exhibit at the Globe showing documents identifying
Shakespeare as Shakespeare.

 I'm sorry to learn I was misinformed.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Friday, 9 Jun 2000 11:20:11 -0400
Subject: 11.1196 Re: Article of Interest
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1196 Re: Article of Interest

I hesitate to ask, for fear of bringing the harpies of hell down on my
head, but has anyone ever suggested digging up the body?  A little DNA,
the right of sepulchres, would go a long way.

Clifford Stetner
CUNY Graduate Center
http://phoenix.liu.edu/~cstetner/cds.htm

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Marder <
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Date:           Friday, 9 Jun 2000 17:23:10 -0500
Subject: 11.1173 What Happened?
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1173 What Happened?

To my Shakespearean, Shaksperean, Oxfordian, Oxfordite, and other
friends and antagonists:  Some time last year I posted a listc of about
six dozen reasons why Oxford or any other contender for the Shakespeaean
title could NOT be the author of Shakespeare's work. Maybe the (14?)
fourteen or so page article was too long to keep on file, but it was
there once.

Hardy, could you please advise readers of the existence of the list?  It
should do some good.  I think it should END the controversy once and for
all.

[Editor's Note: To get this list, send the command GETPOST SHAKSPER
008554 to 
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  --Hardy]

I sent the list to some of the major Oxfordians.  I was a sort of
honorary member of the group and went to their annual meetings.  They
often praised me for coming, like Daniel to the Lion's den, and
enlivening their meeting with controversy.  They retaliated by taking me
off their mailing list, canceling my honorary subscription to their
Bulletin, and have ignored me ever since, except for my personal friend
and sometime patron, Russell des Cognets. Louis 
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[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian R. Page <
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Date:           Friday, 9 Jun 2000 23:51:28 -0400
Subject: 11.1172 Article of Interest
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1172 Article of Interest

I am glad that Hardy is permitting a brief discussion about this Article
of Interest.  I do not wish to offer any comments about the question
itself, only a thought about how the question is handled in the literary
community.  Since my own field is history, I have heretofore contented
myself with lurking on the Shakespeare forum knowing that most
discussions presume a significant body of underlying shared
presumptions.  So my comments have nothing to do with literary
criticism.

However, I am surprised that the literary community doesn't seem to
recognize the great value that the controversy brings to their field.
People love mysteries.  Were I to teach Shakespeare I would be tempted
to advocate a different author each semester.  Some students would be
convinced; others would disagree.  What would this accomplish?  Maybe it
would spin out a few late night arguments in the hallway of a dorm, or
be the subject of an AOL Instant Messenger chat?  Maybe it would spur a
few students to look deeply into the plays and sonnets -- beyond the
class assignment?

Controversy has value.  Celebrities know this.  Just stay in the news.
It doesn't matter whether the coverage is complimentary, scandalous, or
balanced; just make it on the cover.  Authorship is a perennial cover
story.  Every few years you could hold a "debate" to thrash around the
"evidence."  And to stay nimble, maybe reverse positions each debate.
Who cares who's right?  Until some unimpeachable documentary evidence
surfaces, it is an undecidable question.  But it's a great draw.

And wrestling is real, too.

Brian Page
 

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