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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: New York Times
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0613  Friday, 1 March 2002

[1]     From:   Bruce Young <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 11:21:45 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0601 Re: New York Times

[2]     From:   Bob Grumman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 16:24:30 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0548 Re: New York Times

[3]     From:   Bob Grumman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 16:43:55 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0601 Re: New York Times


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Young <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 11:21:45 -0700
Subject: 13.0601 Re: New York Times
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0601 Re: New York Times

Since we seem to be coming awfully close to a full-blown authorship
discussion, I hesitate to comment on Sam Small's description of both
Oxfordians and Stratfordians as sounding "like the propaganda organs of
totalitarian dictatorships" and exhibiting "juvenile brand-loyalty."
But since list members David Kathman and Terry Ross are included in this
judgment, I want to come to their defense.

I have found the Shakespeare Authorship web site very useful as a place
to send students who have picked up bits of anti-Stratfordian
pseudoinformation (as I would call it).  Kathman and Ross have certainly
come to a conclusion on the authorship question, but I find their way of
presenting their view careful, measured, and intelligent, with the
evidence available for independent inspection--certainly not the style
of totalitarian propaganda.

If we're considering human knowledge in general, there's a great deal
that's uncertain--more than I think many are willing to admit.  But I
don't think the authorship question is one of these great
uncertainties.  Many have objected to comparing the Oxfordian view to
claiming that the holocaust didn't happen, because the authorship
question carries nothing like the moral and human significance of the
holocaust.  But I think there are other, fairer comparisons.  For me,
the view that Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare is comparable to the
view (held by some) that the earth is flat, that no humans have landed
on the moon (the supposed landings were hoaxes, some believe), and that
Paul McCartney died in 1966.  It is not "totalitarian" or
"propagandistic" or even "juvenile brand-loyalty" to claim that such
views are nonsense.

Bruce Young

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Grumman <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 16:24:30 -0500
Subject: 13.0548 Re: New York Times
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0548 Re: New York Times

Just an announcement, if it's legal at SHAKPSER, that I now have a
web-page open at

http://www.geocities.com/compoems/nytimes1.html

that has a summary of the Times article on Oxford and Shakespeare, and
responses to it.  Please, anyone who sent a letter to the Times about
the article that was rejected, let me post it at my site.  I have three
such letters there now, but would like more.

 --Bob Grumman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Grumman <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 16:43:55 -0500
Subject: 13.0601 Re: New York Times
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0601 Re: New York Times

> ". . . badly misinformed nonspecialists such as Justice John Paul
> Stevens are taken in by Oxfordian propaganda, but it saddens us that the
> Times would tarnish its reputation by uncritically publishing such
> anti-intellectual drivel."
>
> I agree with Hardy that banning authorship debate greatly enhances this
> list.  I have read David Kathman and Terry Ross as well as Oxfordian
> rhetoric.  Both sides sound like the propaganda organs of totalitarian
> dictatorships.  I resist using the word "offensive" as I object to
> others using it as a weapon, but view it as the juvenile brand-loyalty
> of people with little better to do with their lives.  A great big pox on
> both their houses.
>
> SAM SMALL

I also agree with the banning of the authorship argument from this list,
but not for the reasons you give.  I would like to know--if the essays
of Terry Ross and Dave Kathman, full of evidence, and clearly stating
(usually quoting) the arguments of the other side, are like propaganda
organs of totalitarian dictatorships--who would you say has written
about the authorship of the plays who has NOT sounded like that?  That
is, how, in your view, can one argue the question and not sound to you
like a totalitarian propagandist?  I fear you sound like you would ban
all who argued the question, wherever they argued it.

--Bob G.

[Editor's Note: I really feel this thread has seen its usefulness and
should come to an end. -Hardy]

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