Sunday, November 13, 2011

Waugaman reviews Anonymous

Georgetown University professor of psychology Richard Waugaman, MD, reviewed Rolland Emmerich's Shakespeare authorship film, Anonymous, for Roger Stritmatter's Shake-Speare's Bible weblog yesterday in an essay titled "Not unanimous on Anonymous". Waugaman's knowledge of the authorship issue, his insight into the forces contributing to the controversy, and his lucid writing style make reading his essay a necessary pleasure. Waugaman said:

Psychoanalysts are in a unique position to elucidate the psychology of literary anonymity and pseudonymity. The evidence suggests that keeping one’s authorship secret helps promote what Keat’s called Shakespeare’s “negative capability”—keeping his own identity in the background as he created hundreds of utterly convincing characters.. . .When I am told that Oxfordians are simply unable to admit they’re wrong, I point out that every Oxfordian I know started as a Stratfordian, until they looked into the matter more deeply. So it doesn’t look as though we’re the ones incapable of admitting we’re wrong. Oxfordians are told we do not know how to evaluate the historical evidence. In reality, all the recent evidence about the ubiquity of anonymity and pseudonymity in Elizabethan authorship is mostly getting ignored by the Shakespeare specialists.
Links to Waugaman's list of published articles on the topic of the Shakespeare authorship controversy are available on his weblog, The Oxfreudian, at