The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1692 Friday, 10 September 2004
Date: Thursday, 9 Sep 2004 07:43:13 EDT
Subject: Hamlet Custody Case
I'm trying to recall an article I read sometime during the last 20
years. I'm pretty sure it was in the New Yorker, perhaps about 10 years
ago, though it could have been more recent or more ancient. My memories
of it are vague, so any of the following particulars could be incorrect.
As best as I can remember it concerned a couple-- a man and a woman--
lovers I think, not married, who were working on a comprehensive theory
of... Hamlet! I believe this theory had something to do with Wittenberg
and Lutheranism and their contention was that they had detected clues
and hidden meanings that, when viewed aright, explicated the entire play
in a new and significant way. But before they could complete and publish
their research, their personal relationship fell apart and they became
enemies, each claiming to be the primary architect of the Hamlet theory,
battling over it in the manner of a bitter child custody case. I seem to
recall that these two were not English professors, but some other kind
of professional-- lawyers perhaps.
Does anyone remember this story? Who were they, what was the theory,
and did it ever get published?
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