Monday, April 26, 2010

CNN quotes Egan

Shakespeare Oxford Society journal editor Michael Egan was quoted in a CNN online review of James Shapiro's Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?:
"The case for Oxford derives from the fact that almost everything we know about Shakespeare of Stratford doesn't seem connectible to the author of the plays," he (Egan) says. "It's that gap between what we could infer about the author, and what we know about Shakespeare of Stratford, which has raised the questions."
Egan said he was sorry that the author, CNN entertainment producer Todd Leopold didn't use Egan's main objection, that ". . . Contested Will is a profoundly dishnonest book in the sense that Shapiro's book 1599 directly reads Shakespeare's life from his works."

Leopold's article published today on CNN Entertainment,  "Was Shakespeare's Ghostwriter Shakespeare?", numbers the Shakespeare authorship controversy among conspiracy theories such as rumors that Elvis lives. He quotes UC/Davis history professor Kathy Olmsted author of Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy on the topic:

"When people don't have that information or can't get it, they like to sort of speculate on what the real story is," she (Olmsted) says. "People see those blank spots and they want to fill them in."
Since hard data linking the Stratford man with the Shakespeare plays is non-existent, those who believe the man from Stratford wrote the plays should bear the burden of proving his authorship. Investigating the source of the Shakespeare canon is no more irrational than investigating the source of dark matter in the universe.

Leopold gets a great quote from Shapiro on the Roland Emmerich film
Anonymous that will feature Edward de Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford (1550-1604), as Shakespeare:
"It's going to be a disaster movie for people who teach Shakespeare," he (Shapiro) says. "In the great rock-paper-scissor of movie and book, movie beats book."
Ironically, many alternate authorship advocates also consider the Emmerich film to be a disaster for authorship inquiry because the film promotes an implausible authorship scenario that may damage the reputation of authorship research.

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