Shakespeare Authorship Collaboration, 101: Chatting with Lavendoski, Rambling with Rambler, Analyzing with Theil
Posted By Roger Stritmatter on January 20, 2014
Whoa…..the high number of visitors continues unabated, so perhaps Tom Reedy’s theory that the local traffic increase is due to his scintillating commentary has some validity after all!
In a private email Reedy announced that his research efforts are branching out beyond the Shakespeare authorship question, and he is taking an interest in modern forensic paleography, requesting two articles on this topic in which I had some part, but which largely represented the work of the University of Buffalo’s CEDAR institute for Forensic Studies. The two articles are studies of an anonymous 19th century words and pictures manuscript that I cover in this blog entry.
Since the links to the articles in question are now longer functional, I’ve uploaded them to my own server; they are now available via my online CV, here.
For nearly a week now we’ve had between 98-208 unique visitors a day. In response to my “Thank you” post, I did receive a challenge to a duel from the webmaster of a “competing” website who claims that his visitors are in the thousands, no doubt due to his charming manners and breathtaking command of scholarship.
Now, of course 100 or even 200 visitors is not a very large number when one looks at the giant sea of the internet with its millions of users, but hey, you have to start somewhere, and personally I couldn’t be more pleased with the significant traffic increase the site is currently experiencing. Dreaming on the wide world of things to come, those of us who are up on our Ogburn know where this is headed….
I’ve been especially grateful over the past few days for the many friends who have commented on facebook and elsewhere on some of the recent postings. In one comment just today John D. Lavendoski singled out this recent review of Leah Marcus Puzzling Shakespeare as one of the better posts on the site, and I have to agree. While the Lambarde and “My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is” posts continue to generate a lot of heat, Stratfordian commentators don’t seem to want to go near the topic of any self-reflexive analysis of trends in their own scholarly tradition.
I was also gratified to have an honored guest over the last two days in person of Alexander Waugh, grandson of the British novelist of whom we are all aware, and new Executive Director of the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition, whose recent entry into the authorship debate I covered in a previous blog entry. Waugh commented in response to Mike Leadbetter, here.
One thing I don’t do enough of in this blog is comment on the fine work being done by other Oxfordians across cyberspace. In a future blog I will spend some time reviewing the incredible work of the anonymous Rambler on his cleverly named Quake-Speare Shorterly blog.
For now, suffice it to say that Rambler’s remarkable blog is systematically taking down the reflexive belief that “nobody said anything” about de Vere’s authorship of the plays. Nope. Guess again. Plenty of people said plenty, and Rambler is on to them. I hope he’s thinking of a book….he’s got one.
Linda Theil’s Oberon blog for today follows the deconstructive tradition of Leah Marcus, by both promoting and taking apart the upcoming Spring 2014 Folger library seminar on “The Problem of Biography.” Linda’s brilliantly acerbic commentary contains so much worthy of quotation that it’s hard to know where to begin in finding an excerpt, but perhaps her commentary on the fetishization of the idea of “collaboration” within contemporary Shakespearean scholarship of the traditional sort will do:
Uh, oh! The cee-word, that’s not good. “Collaboration” is the latest straw in the establishment’s crumbling bulwark against anti-Stratfordian encroachment upon the Shakespeare orthodoxy. Stanley Wells in his online diatribe, Shakespeare Bites Back, said: “Any case against Shakespeare falls down as soon as Shakespeare is understood as an honest and open collaborator.”
Why Wells and other Stratfordians believe that creating a multi-Shakespeare somehow makes the Stratfordian more convincing as an author, I have no idea, but the flood of recent material by orthodox scholars on Shakespeare collaborators make the rush-to-collaboration trend undeniable.