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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: King John, Titus, Peele
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1302  Friday, 27 June 2003

From:           B. Vickers <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Jun 2003 13:07:12 +0200
Subject: 14.1264 Re: King John, Titus, Peele
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1264 Re: King John, Titus, Peele

I'd like to add two footnotes to my last posting. First, on the
differences between Shakespeare's use of rhetoric and Peele's, see
Stefan Keller, 'Shakespeare's rhetorical fingerprint. New evidence on
the authorship of <I>Titus Andronicus'</I>, just published in <I>English
Studies. A Journal of English Language and Literature</I>, vol. 84, no.
2 (April 2003): 105-118. Mr. Keller takes six 800-line samples from
<I>Titus</I> and <I>Richard III</I>, analyzes their use of some common
figures of rhetoric, and shows very clear differences between the scenes
ascribed to Peele and Shakespeare.

Secondly, I would like to draw the attention of SHAKSPER users to some
activities on the newsgroup HLAS (humanities.lit.authors.shakespeare).
Over the last few months, under the pseudonyms 'KQKnave' and 'Agent
Jim', Jim Carroll (of Newburyport, Mass.?) has been conducting a vicious
campaign to discredit my books, '<I>Counterfeiting' Shakespeare</I> and
<I>Shakespeare, Co-Author</I>. Mr. Carroll is a devotee of Donald Foster
(who cannot, of course, be held to blame for the activities of his
acolytes), and is convinced that Shakespeare wrote all the plays in the
First Folio, together with <I>A Lover's Complaint</I> and <I>A Funerall
Elegie</I>. Angry at those who -- like myself, Gilles Monsarrat, Ward
Elliott, MacDonald Jackson, Brian Boyd, and Marina Tarlinskaja -- do not
agree with him, Carroll has been attacking my work with a degree of
misrepresentation amounting to systematic mendacity. This has reached
such a degree of malice that another contributor to that newsgroup,
Clark J. Holloway (who maintains two helpful webpages on Shakespeare and
Jonson at http:hollowaypages) was moved to protest on my behalf. Their
exchange can be read under the thread 'Counterfeiting Scholarship' with
Carroll's latest attack on my removal of the <I>Funerall Elegye</I> from
the Shakespeare canon (2003-06-21), and Mr. Holloway's reply
(2003-06-24), which concludes: 'My apologies in advance to Bob, Dave [?
David Kathman], and anyone else who may be offended by my remarks
concerning Mr. Carroll's superficial, malicious, and reckless (his
representations are much too numerous to be merely negligent) review of
Vickers' book. But anyone drawing conclusions regarding Vickers'
arguments based on Mr. Carroll's vicious diatribes have been purposely
deceived.'

While the internet is a formidable medium for the dissemination of both
facts and opinions, as Carroll would put it, it is also a testing-ground
for the health of human discourse. Systematic and malicious
falsification of the record, as practised by Carroll, poisons the
repositories of language and truth on which human society depends. 'Lie
boldly', as Coleridge once paraphrased a cynical maxim, 'some of it is
bound to stick'. Thanks to powerful search engines, Horace's regretful
utterance on the fate of a poem, once it was published, beyond further
improvement -- <I>nescit vox missa reverti</I> ('the word once sent
forth can never come back') is now wholly outdated. Electronic
utterances are there for ever (although some politicians have yet to
realize). So anyone net-trawling for reactions to my work will find
Carroll's distortions indelibly attached. I do not intend to -- indeed
cannot -- take any further action, but I call on him to find some other
outlet for his anger -- burning my books for instance.

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