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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
Ideas on the Internet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0131  Tuesday, 7 March 2006

From: 		Larry Weiss <
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Date: 		Monday, 06 Mar 2006 13:19:25 -0500
Subject: 17.0120 Authentication Article
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0120 Authentication Article

 >The question of priority is old, vexed, subjective and subject to
 >bias. If anyone were to "propose" a new opinion on SHK, would
 >he have a scholarly claim, or must that honor always go to first
 >mention in a peer-reviewed publication? To my mind the matter
 >depends on two primary questions. First, the public nature of the
 >Internet ensures that posts on the group are for all to search and
 >are not private correspondence. Why should a novel opinion not
 >be recognized? Second, an opinion without argument loses its force.
 >After all, a correct solution may be offered for bad reasons. If one
 >hopes his suggestion will be accepted, he should argue the case.

This is an important issue.  I wonder if anyone has done a study of the 
speed and breadth of transmission of a new idea broached for the first 
time in an internet group.

For example, so far as I know, no one published an observation on the 
relationship of the name "Polonius" to Poland or what that adds to the 
audience's understanding of the character until I raised the subject 
here a few years ago.  At that time, a number of SHAKSPERians indicated 
that they thought it was a new and interesting idea.  These included Roy 
Flanagan who was then working on a book on Shakespeare's names.  But, 
judging from the recent thread, it now appears that my novel suggestion 
has become the old traditional notion which needs to be re-examined.

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