Tag Archives: Urs Jenny

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.”

Oxford in the mirror

derspeigel114

Der Speigel 47/2009 p. 114

derspeigel
Der Speigel 47/2009 p. 115

Oxfordian Hanno Wember, author of the German-language Shake-speare Today website, reports from Germany:

The leading German political weekly magazine Der Spiegel (The Mirror – circulation more than one-million) has this week a four-page essay by Urs Jenny. (Jenny is editor of the Der Spiegel culture section. He has worked as theatre dramaturge with some of the most famous German stage directors.) “Der Dichter und sein Doppelgänger” (The Poet and his Doppelganger), triggered by Kurt Kreiler’s book, Der Mann der Shakespeare erfand (The Man Who Invented Shakespeare), published recently by Suhrkamp/Insel, a leading German publishing house. The debate, which was suppressed for decades, is now opened and scarcely can be silenced again, as other media have already taken part.

Der Spiegel writes:
“Now a German author argues the case of the ‘other Shakespeare’ and stimulates an old suspicion”.

The effect of Der Spiegel on the German cultural world should not be underestimated: Things will never be as before.

The article is in the print magazine only and is not available online. But we can offer a glimpse on the first German Oxfordian webpage: http://shake-speare-today.de/. Click “Aktuelles” (current events) on the left, you will find the link to Der Spiegel. You can page down to Seite (page) 114, and you can see the article as it appears in the publication.