Monthly Archives: September 2010

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Stephanie Hughes Reviews “The Bisexuality of Shake-speare’s Sonnets and Implications for de Vere’s Authorship” by Dr. Richard M. Waugaman

With the controversy surrounding the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy swirling around in the headlines, I want to call your attention to Stephanie Hughes’ insightful review of a forthcoming article — to be published in the October issue of Psychoanalytic Review — by Richard M. Waugaman, MD.  Stephanie’s review bears the eye-catching and provocative title “Shakespeare and ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.'”  The title of Dr. Waugaman’s article may have less of a ripped-from-the-headlines feel, but it is nonetheless quite provocative in its own right:  “The Bisexuality of Shake-speare’s Sonnets and Implications for de Vere’s Authorship.”

I’m pasting below a few paragraphs from Stephanie’s excellent review.  To read the entire review, please visit Stephanie’s “Politic Worm” blog.  The link at the very bottom of this post takes you directly to her “don’t ask don’t tell” review.  But anybody interesting in the Shakespeare authorship issue would do well to browse the many other fine posts on Stephanie’s blog. 

On the subject of Shakespeare’s sexuality, I also want to call your attention to an article written by John Hamill, immediate past president of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, and published in the Society’s flagship scholarly journal The Oxfordian.  Hamill’s article (“Shakespeare’s Sexuality and How It Affects the Authorship Issue”) is available in PDF format on the Society’s website:  www.Shakespeare-Oxford.com.  Here’s the link to Hamill’s article:

http://www.shakespeare-oxford.com/wp-content/oxfordian/Hamill-Sex.pdf

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Review:  Shakespeare and “don’t ask don’t tell” by Stephanie Hughes

An important article, “The Bisexuality of Shake-speare’s Sonnets and Implications for de Vere’s Authorship” by Richard M. Waugaman, MD, is to be published in the upcoming October issue of Psychoanalytic Review, 97 (5).  Dr. Waugaman is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and Training & Supervising Analyst Emeritus at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute.  His 98 scholarly publications began with an article stemming from his senior thesis on Nietzsche and Freud.  He and his wife, Elisabeth Pearson, scholar of Medieval French Lit and an award-winning children’s book author, live in Maryland, near Washington DC.

Dr. Waugaman’s path to Oxford runs from Freud (doctoral dissertation) to William Niederkorn (NYTimes article, Feb. 2002), to Roger Stritmatter (Oxford’s Geneva Bible) to a readership at the Folger.  Now this prestigious academic journal has agreed to publish simultaneously not one, but two of his articles on authorship issues, one on Samuel Clemens’s use of the pseudonym Mark Twain, the other on the psychology of Shake-speare’s Sonnets and their connection to Oxford’s biography, the accusations of pederasty made against him made by his enemies, plus the fact that his daughter was being promoted as a wife to the Earl of Southampton, the Fair Youth of the Sonnets.

News of the publication of Dr. Waugaman’s articles in an academic journal is a sign that the wall surrounding Fortress Academia may be weakening. “Things seem to be changing among my analytic colleagues,” says Waugaman. “I now find them far more receptive.  They react as though there is at least “reasonable doubt’’about the authorship, which is a fine place to begin.  And I’m optimistic about the historians as well.”  That Waugaman speaks from and to the psychology community is a double plus, since that’s one of the two arenas that we can conceivably hope will help us salvage the truth about the authorship, the other being the historians.   Once post docs in the less fiction-based Humanities departments begin delving in the English archives we’ll have to rely less on conjecture.

It’s with gratitude that I read Dr. Waugaman’s essay since, as he emphasizes, the nature of the Bard’s sexuality has been so denied, distorted, ignored, or misinterpreted by so-called Shakespeare experts (including some Oxfordians) over the centuries that a straightforward approach to the obvious by someone of authority is clearly in order.  Waugaman asks why Shakespeare commentators have consistently avoided the obvious, that since the Sonnets reflect that the Poet was having (or at least desiring) concurrent sexual relations with a man and a woman––ipso facto, Shakespeare was a bisexual, or at least was behaving like one.  As he states: “One solution to this cognitive dissonance for the past four centuries has been denial or avoidance of Shakespeare’s bisexuality, and of his actual identity.”  By connecting this massive “blind spot,” as he calls it, to the Academy’s refusal to dig any deeper than the unlikely Stratford biography, Waugaman makes an important connection.  We’ve been subjected to James Shapiro’s efforts to psychoanalyze the authorship community, now lets see what a psychoanalyst has to say about Shapiro and his colleagues.  For any who wish to read his argument in full, Dr. Waugaman will email you a pdf; contact him at rwmd at comcast dot net.

Don’t ask don’t tell

When we add to the evidence in the Sonnets all the gender-bending in the plays, the passionate “male bonding” in Coriolanus, and the obvious homosexual love of the Antonios in Twelfth Night and Merchant of Venice, it would seem that at the very least, homosexual desire was something the author understood.  This may have been shocking to the Reformation clergy who acted as censors for what got published in the early 17th century, to the Victorian literary critics, and apparently also to persons who grew up in the 1950s in America, but that some readers today are still grasping for some other interpretation, desperate to avoid the fact that––Gasp! Choke!––Shakespeare had a sex life!––well, what can I say?  If it wasn’t so deplorable it would be funny.

(To read the entire review, click on the link below)

http://politicworm.com/2010/09/24/shakespeare-and-don%E2%80%99t-ask-don%E2%80%99t-tell/

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Christina Radish Interviews Screenwriter John Orloff About Roland Emmerich’s “Anonymous” — A Period Drama About The Shakespeare Authorship Mystery

Check out this interview with John Orloff, the screenwriter behind Roland Emmerich’s forthcoming film about the Shakespeare Authorship Mystery.  Note that the movie’s release date has been pushed back from March 2011 to September 23, 2011.   Here are a few paragraphs from the interview … followed by the link to read the entire article.  Enjoy!  Matthew

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John Orloff is an acclaimed screenwriter who is quickly proving how adept he is at creating worlds that audiences can lose themselves in. He has the Zack Snyder-directed 3D animated feature Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole in theaters on September 24th, and then Anonymous, a period drama centered on the Shakespeare authorship question, directed by Roland Emmerich, out in the fall of  2011.

Although I spoke to him in an exclusive phone interview for Collider to promote the release of Legend of the Guardians, Orloff also talked in-depth about Anonymous and the approach in making it, as he is also an executive producer on that film. Because there was so much detail on what sounds like a very intricate, multi-layered story, I decided to split the interview in two, starting with what he had to say about Anonymous. Check out what he had to say about that film after the jump, and then check back later this week to read about how he got involved with Legend of the Guardians.

Where did the idea for Anonymous come from and what is that film about?

JOHN ORLOFF: That script was actually the first script that I wrote, about 15 years ago. I became interested in the Shakespeare authorship issue in college, in regard to who wrote the plays. I had no idea there was a Shakespeare authorship issue at all, and the more that I became totally fascinated by it and the more research I did, the more I went, “Wow, this is an amazingly complicated world in Elizabethan England.” It’s never really been shown, how dark it was. It was really a totalitarian state. And, when you combine that with this incredible person, whoever he may have been, that’s a really interesting idea for a movie.

So, I just did tons and tons of research and eventually wrote a script. Unfortunately, my script was completed about two months before Shakespeare in Love came out, but it was my calling card. People would take meetings with me because they had read the script. I would have the meeting and they would go, “Oh, we love the script, but we’re never going to make this movie because there was just Shakespeare in Love.” So, I just put it in my desk and anytime I’d go to a meeting, I’d bring it up and I’d usually have the same response of, “Nobody’s going to make that movie.” And then, one day, about eight years ago, I was in Roland Emmerich’s office talking about a different movie and he asked me about other things that I was passionate about and what I had written, and I started to tell him the story of this movie. He was quite fascinated and he read the script, and he also became enamored and interested in the subject matter and did his own research. We did a lot of revisions on the script, and we finally made it a couple months ago.

Click Link To Read More …

http://www.collider.com/2010/09/22/anonymous-interview-john-orloff-screenwriter/