Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pirè and Valentini reply to Oberon

by Linda Theil

I received this email today from deposed Memoria di Shakespeare editors, Luciana Pirè and Maria Valentini:
Dear Ms Theil, thank you for your concern. We will not be appearing as editors of the tenth issue of Memoria di Shakespeare; the Editorial Board has decided on a particular line and rather than having been replaced we have chosen to step down from the editorship of this particular issue. We must however add that all papers had been only temporarily accepted rather than definitively and were due to be read by the Board as a whole and then go through peer review. We believe there is not much more we can add. Yours sincerely, Luciana Pirè and Maria Valentini
I asked the two Italian scholars for their response to the new Memoria di Shakespeare editor, Gary Taylor's having accused them both of " . . . a breach of faith . . ." in choosing Shakespeare-authorship researcher Richard Waugaman, MD, for a place in the tenth edition of Memoria -- an edition dedicated to the topic of Shakespearean biography, due to be published in 2015.

Taylor told Waugaman that getting rid of Waugaman's article had been a condition of Taylor's acceptance of the Memoria editorship. For background on this story, see the August 23, 2014 Oberon article "Gary Taylor sez Waugaman is as unconvincing as holocaust deniers".

The text of my query to Luciana Pirè and Maria Valentini is posted below:
Da: Linda Theil
Inviato: giovedì 21 agosto 2014 13:34
A: pire; (valentini)
Oggetto: Gary Taylor's remarks
Ms Pire and Ms Valentini,
I am preparing a post about Richard Waugaman's article being dropped from Memoria 10 for the blog: Oberon Shakespeare Studies Group at and I hoped that you would wish to comment on the following Gary Taylor comment made in an August 19, 2014 letter to Richard Waugaman. Gary Taylor said:
" . . . I understand that you are chargrined about the change of policy at the journal. But the previous co-editors, who contacted you, were themselves guilty of a breach of good faith, in committing the journal to positions conflicted with the intentions and desires of the journal's founders. . . ."
Do you think Taylor's comment is correct? Could you comment on the issue?
Can you tell me if you will appear as editors of the tenth issue of Memoria and are you still working on the project? Taylor gives the impression that you have been replaced and I wondered if that was accurate.
Dr. Waugaman says that Taylor (and by extension, the Memoria board) is guilty of a breach of academic freedom by censoring Waugaman's paper after it had been accepted by the board's chosen editors.
Do you think the board's actions are a breach of academic freedom?
Thank you very much for your time and attention,
Linda Theil