Daily Archives: November 18, 2009

Urs Jenny in Der Spiegel

German Oxfordian researcher Robert Detobel summarizes Urs Jenny’s article, Der Dichter und Sein Doppelganger (The Poet and his Doppelganger) published this week in Der Spiegel (The Mirror) on the topic of Kurt Kreiler’s German-language biography of Edward de Vere – Der Mann der Shakespeare erfand (The Man who Invented Shakespeare):

Urs Jenny’s Article in Der Spiegel No 47/16-11-09 starts with three paragraphs on known facts of the life of William Shakespeare.

The fourth paragraph opens: “He that tries to get an idea of one of the greatest poets of world history, is struck with bewilderment when looking into his life’s legacy, the testament of a narrow-minded scrape-penny. Nothing outside the truly overwhelming work allows for a glimpse of the poet’s personality.”

Then Jenny asks: “Or was the poet somebody else?” “The soundest reason to believe in the genius of the man of Stratford is that for some hundred years nobody has doubted it. But at latest in the  middle of the nineteenth century the efforts to undelve his biography led to a certain helplessness.”

Then the author returns to the life of the man of Stratford and asks, “Which miracle turned, within a few years, of which nothing is known, (him) into a dramatist of incomparable eloquence?”. To exclaim with more than a pinch of irony, “The answer can only be: The genius is incommensurable, the genius is a singularity.”

To add a little more irony of my own: this is almost what Gabriel Harvey said of Edward de Vere, “a passing singular odd man”. So, if one is not contented by this answer, one has to look elsewhere. The step which suggests itself is to look for a courtier with pronounced liteary interests.

Jenny then exposes the arguments in favour of Edward de Vere. Jenny also thinks that Kreiler’s argument about the date of composition of the Italian plays is a strong one, placing them before the anti-Italian affect which would have become predominating at court after the Spanish invasion.

Jenny has certainly been won over by Kreiler’s book. He concludes his article with some reservations (rather diplomatically, it seems to me). He asks whether Edward de Vere, “a intensely passionate and talented man” could have had so little aristocratic pride as to remain hidden forever behind a commoner’s pseudonym. I myself would have asked “so much aristocratic pride”.

Finally, the closing paragraph: “The debate will go on. Maybe this is the secret of the self-made man Shakespeare from the province: precisely because we know nothing of him, the man of Stratford can be thought of as being capable of anything.”

SARC Summer Seminar Aug. 9-14, 2010

From SARC Director Dan Wright:

The 2010 Summer Seminar at the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University is scheduled for August 9-14, 2010. I want to get this information out so that you can register now and be assured a seat at the seminar. Registration is limited to 20 participants.

The focus of the week-long study session will be “The Shakespeare Apocrypha.” I will lead the seminar through a study of the plays (and a few of the poems) that sometime have been argued as integral to the Shakespeare canon but which, for various reasons, rarely have garnered enough support to make it into the more established publications of the canon — The Two Noble Kinsmen excepted. We’ll discuss canonicity itself and amongst the works sometimes attributed to the writer who called himself Shakespeare, we’ll devote particular attention during the week to at least the following: “A Funeral Elegie” and “A Lover’s Complaint,” as well as several plays, including Arden of Feversham, Edmund Ironside, Edward III, Thomas of Woodstock (aka Richard II, Part One), Locrine, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Fair Em and The Birth of Merlin. We may get a chance to look at some others, too, such as Sir John Oldcastle and The Wisdom of Doctor Dodypoll.

You can sign up now at http://www.authorshipstudies.org/institute/index.cfm.

14th Annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference April 8-11, 2010
Use the occasion while you’re online to register, too, for the 14th Annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference April 8 – 11, 2010 that will feature presentations by Dr Bruce Thompson of U Cal – San Marcos; Dr Michael Delahoyde of Washington State University; Dr Claudia Thompson of the University of Wyoming; Kevin Gilvary and Eddi Jolly of the De Vere Society in the UK; Paul Nicholson, the Executive Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Chris Coleman of Portland Centre Stage; Stephanie Hopkins Hughes, former editor of The Oxfordian; attorney Luis Garcia; William Ray; Krystal Rapp; Jacob Hughes; Prof Kevin Simpson; and many, many others of new and old vintage. You can register for the conference at https://acme.cu-portland.edu/ecomm/shakespeare/

Prof Daniel Wright, Ph.D, Director
The Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre Concordia University Portland, OR 97211-6099