Skip to main content

Anti-Strat adolescent solves Shakespeare authorship mystery -- in new novel

Like James Shapiro's Contested Will and Roland Emmerich's Anonymous, Arthur Phillips' novel The Tragedy of Arthur provides further evidence that the Shakespeare authorship question has engaged the post-modern imagination. Phillips' pseudo memoir containing a pseudo pseudo-Shakespeare play will be released in hardcover by Random House on April 19, 2011. An excerpt of Phillips' novel on describes the narrator's anti-Stratfordian sib:
Back in 1979, a month after my father began serving that ten-year sentence, fifteen-year-old Dana finally staged her only adolescent rebellion, expressing her pain at Dad's incompetent wonder-working and abandonment ofher. Her attack may not impress anyone who's given their parents a truly rought ride, but you have to judge her act in context. Considering that her own personality (gay) was already an unwilling blow against parental expectations, she had never felt the need to "act out," all rebellious energies spent on navigating a world that contained a fair amount of hostitlity to her. But now she agressively struck at our father, harder than I could have, because she was braver and more honest, because he loved her more, and because what she did was so piercingly fired at him and him alone. 
She became an anti-Stratfordian. 
She consciously chose to believe, or tried to believe, or at least pretended to believe -- and then feigned amazement at Dad's anguish -- that the author of the works of "William Shakespeare" could not conceivably have been William Shakespeare, the semieducated, part-time actor/part-time real estate speculator son of a provincial glove-maker from Stratford-upon-Avon, that no such person could have composed the greatest works of English literature, embodying the finest of all psychology, storytelling, artistry, linguistic brilliance, and so forth.
Read more of Dana's adolescent literary rebellion and her unique solution to the Shakespeare authorship question at:

Random House provides an overview of the novel on their website:
The Tragedy of Arthur is an emotional and elaborately constructed tour de force from bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Arthur Phillips, “one of the best writers in America” (The Washington Post).
Its doomed hero is Arthur Phillips, a young man struggling with a larger-than-life father, a con artist who works wonders of deception but is a most unreliable parent. Arthur is raised in an enchanted world of smoke and mirrors where the only unshifting truth is his father’s and his beloved twin sister’s deep and abiding love for the works of William Shakespeare—a love so pervasive that Arthur becomes a writer in a misguided bid for their approval and affection. 
Years later, Arthur’s father, imprisoned for decades and nearing the end of his life, shares with Arthur a treasure he’s kept secret for half a century: a previously unknown play by Shakespeare, titled The Tragedy of Arthur. But Arthur and his sister also inherit their father’s mission: to see the play published and acknowledged as the Bard’s last great gift to humanity. . . . Unless it’s their father’s last great con.
By turns hilarious and haunting, this virtuosic novel—which includes Shakespeare’s (?) lost King Arthur play in its five-act entirety—captures the very essence of romantic and familial love and betrayal. The Tragedy of Arthurexplores the tension between storytelling and truth-telling, the thirst for originality in all our lives, and the act of literary mythmaking, both now and four centuries ago, as the two Arthurs—Arthur the novelist and Arthur the ancient king—play out their individual but strangely intertwined fates.
Update: April 27, 2011
Shapiro weighs-in at The Daily Beast on The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips

Popular posts from this blog

Ros Barber's new Shakespeare authorship book out November 24, 2013

by Linda Theil Ros Barber's Shakespeare: The Evidence --The Authorship Question Clarified will be published Nov. 24, 2013. Info at . Video promo for the book (above) is available on YouTube at Shakespeare: The Evidence. Promo material on the publisher's page says: Whether you are a firm believer that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare, or suspect that he didn't, this book aims to enable readers to gain a more comprehensive knowledge of the problems at hand, clarify their thinking, and identify weaknesses in, and logical rebuttals to, the arguments of their opponents, as well as potentially strengthening their own. Ros Barber, PhD is the author of The Marlowe Papers (St. Martin's Press, 2013) that won the Hoffman Prize in manuscript in 2011. UPDATE 11/17/13 : A note published today by Ros Barber at  says the first installment of the  Shakespeare: The Evidence  ebook will be published o

New Anonymous film trailer posted on YouTube

A second film trailer for Roland Emmerich's film, Anonymous , was posted on YouTube August 5, 2011. Emmerich's historical thriller about the Shakespeare authorship controversy is scheduled for wide-release in the U.S. October 28, 2011. A preview will be screened on Sept. 7, 2011 in downtown Portland, Oregon as part of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre 's annual  conference September 6-9, 2011 .  Anonymous will also be featured at the Toronto International Film Festival to be held September 8-18, 2011. Emmerich's film has Stratfordians aflutter, fearing examination of the traditional attribution of Shakespeare's plays may damage the brand. Instead of welcoming interest in Shakespeare's life and times, they are boarding up the windows against a flood of inquiry. The previously taboo topic of Shakespeare authorship is now allowed in the hallowed halls of Stratford-on-Avon so that a rear guard action against apostasy can be mounted. Paul Edmo

Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project from the University of Guelph

  Quote from masthead of Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project This treasure trove of a site offers much to Shakespeare omnivores, not least of which is the Spotlight feature on Aboriginal adaptations of Shakespeare  . Here's a snippet from the main page introduction of the site: T h e  Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project   is the online resource for anyone interested in how Shakespeare's plays have been transformed and adapted in Canada. But it also contains a wealth of material that relates to all things Shakespearean. With the launch of CASP Version 2, we are pleased to expand the already ample offerings on the site. These include a significant increase in multimedia files; multiple new pages on new areas of research with an emerging focus on French Canada; a huge amount of special resources, including documents, books, scholarly articles, reviews, images, and the like; a literacy video game and perhaps the most comprehensive and intensely multi-mediated stud