The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0380  Saturday, 3 August 2013


From:        Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 2, 2013 1:32:29 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: **JUNK** Who edited Shakespeare?


I am grateful to Ward Elliott for the kind words he said about me and the other panel members, Dale Johnson and Will Sharpe. It is a tad disconcerting to have put in the time, effort and even expense required to decide the dispute and then be rewarded by having one of the parties insult my intelligence and integrity. But I suppose that is part of a judge’s job description. 


Michael Egan has informed me that he intends to publish his “rebuttal” to the panel’s opinion in the next number of The Oxfordian, the journal he edits for the Oxford Society, and he invited me to submit a response for publication without censorship in the same issue, if I could do so in around 10,000 words, about half the space occupied by the full opinion (which is also the length of Egan’s “rebuttal”). I accepted his invitation and managed to recast the original opinion so as to present both the decision and a response to Egan’s critique within the space limitation given. I might post the article on SHAKSPER after the Oxfordian issue comes out, but, as an unreconstructed copyright lawyer, I don’t feel right stepping on that publication by publishing the article in advance elsewhere, even with the editor’s consent. But there is one brief passage that is particularly pertinent to SHAKSPER, so I will provide a very tiny taste; note 53 contains this passage:


Egan also takes a gratuitous swipe at Dr. Hardy Cook, the proprietor of SHAKSPER, for banning the authorship dispute as a subject of discussion. No doubt he did so in light of the history of another online Shakespeare discussion site which was completely consumed by that issue and consequently lost its utility as an academic resource. In any case, the question is not one of “academic freedom” but, rather of commercial freedom; the owner of SHAKSPER has the unfettered right to decide what may and may not be discussed on his bandwidth, just as The Oxfordian may decide not to publish anything that contradicts its point of view. For that reason, I am grateful to Michael Egan for inviting me to submit this essay for publication without censorship. 


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