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Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: June ::
Middleton and Macbeth

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0246  Tuesday, 22 June 2010

[1]  From:      John Briggs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
    Date:      June 20, 2010 1:00:17 PM EDT
    Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0242  Middleton and Macbeth 

[2]  From:      Hugh Grady < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
    Date:      June 20, 2010 5:37:10 PM EDT
    Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0242  Middleton and Macbeth

[3]  From:      William Godshalk < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
    Date:      June 20, 2010 8:06:31 PM EDT
    Subj:      RE: SHK 21.0242  Middleton and Macbeth

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         John Briggs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         June 20, 2010 1:00:17 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0242  Middleton and Macbeth
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0242  Middleton and Macbeth

Larry Weiss wrote:

> Vickers replies in the current issue.

Larry Weiss is a week behind: the issue in question is that dated June 11, 2010. The
current issue is devoid of this controversy!

John Briggs

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Hugh Grady < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         June 20, 2010 5:37:10 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0242  Middleton and Macbeth
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0242  Middleton and Macbeth

In re the attack on Gary Taylor by Brian Vickers in the recent TLS, I submitted the
following post, which in the event was not published. It might be of interest to
some SHAKSPER members:

Sir--Shakespeare scholar Brian Vickers seems to be engaging in precisely the kind of
assertion of cultural authority he accuses Gary Taylor of in his unseemly ad hominem
attack on Taylor's theory of Thomas Middleton's hand in the version of Macbeth that
came down to us via the First Folio (May 28, 2010). Certainly there is plenty to
argue about in what is a highly speculative exercise on both sides, but Vickers'
attempt to discredit Taylor by accusing him of reviving the views of the Victorian
disintegrators is highly ironic, since Vickers himself long since joined their ranks
in his published views in Shakespeare, Co-Author (OUP, 2002). His (quite plausible)
arguments there that five plays of the accepted Shakespearean canon--Titus
Andronicus, Timon of Athens, Pericles, Henry VIII, and Two Noble Kinsmen--had second
authors is quite along the lines (albeit employing much more sophisticated evidence-
-Fleay relied exclusively on his own scansions) argued by several disintegrators,
including in part F. G. Fleay himself. Fleay and Vickers are in substantial
agreement on four of the five plays which Vickers, like Fleay before him, concluded
in his book to have had co-authors. They differ in this question only on Titus,
which Fleay considered entirely non-Shakespearean. The disintegrators had been
discredited by the Modernist generation of Shakespeare scholars from the 1920s to
the 1970s, who fervently believed in a stable text and single authorship for the
Shakespeare canon. But in the wake of the last few decades of a new kind of
disintegrative scholarship which has called into question the dream of a single
definitive text for every play and single authorship for several of them as well,
they seem much less wrong-headed than they once did, as Vickers should recognize.

Hugh Grady
Dept. of English, Communications, and Theatre Arts
Arcadia University
Glenside, Pennsylvania

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         William Godshalk < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         June 20, 2010 8:06:31 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0242  Middleton and Macbeth
Comment:      RE: SHK 21.0242  Middleton and Macbeth

Larry, you might also have mentioned with praise Lukas Erne's review of Hugh Craig
and Arthur Kinney, ed. Shakespeare, Computers, and the Mystery of Authorship in TLS
June 4, 2010. Erne writes: "As long no scholarly consensus is emerging, we may have
no better option than to rely in our own readerly judgement." 

W. L. Godshalk
Department of English
University of Cincinnati

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