Goose, Gander, etc.


It’s not a new claim that maybe Shakespeare was someone else, or a collection of other people. How could it be, people wonder, that some under-educated rube from the provinces could write such beautiful, witty, universally acclaimed stuff?

Ok. Whatever.

Now, out comes a book claiming that Mary Shelley couldn’t have written Frankenstein. She was only eighteen, for one thing, and her other works don’t soar as high or dig as deep.

But it’s one thing to claim that Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare. He’s a guy. When you claim that a woman’s husband (Percy Shelley, of course) was the true author of a classic, then you get called a misogynist.

I assume that Mary wrote Frankenstein. Frankly, though I enjoyed the book, I don’t get how it’s so amazing that only a world-class poet could have written it. (And I’m far from alone. Germaine Greer thinks it’s so bad that it’s obvious a teenage girl wrote it.) But it’s not right that any alternative claim must be called misogynistic.

3 Responses to Goose, Gander, etc.

  1. BruceS June 2, 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    This is a bit of a theme—anyone who disagrees with my opinion must have x abominable characteristic. Claims of misogyny, racism, etc. are easy. Let’s not forget Godwin’s Law.

    I’ve been away for a bit, and realize that if I added comments on the older topics, it could either be missed entirely or look like I’m trying to hide. I actually read your responses shortly after you wrote them, but had no immediate arguments that wouldn’t have been just too silly, then got caught up in other things (which will continue for a bit, but I’m taking a short break). If I come up with truly compelling arguments, I’ll post them later. Until then:
    On “Democracy”, thanks for the heads-up on the quotes. I appear to have fallen for the “if it’s on the ‘Net it must be true” bit. I’ll try to be more diligent in checking authenticity.
    On “Did You Know”, I think I’ll continue to see things quite differently from you.

  2. weeklyrob June 2, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    I was wondering where you’d gone to. I certainly never would have thought you were hiding, no matter how late a comment was.

    But it’s true that blog conversations have a short life-span if not quickly added to.

  3. BruceS June 6, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    I hadn’t so much gone anywhere as been too busy to come here. My clients finally came up with things to keep me busy. It never rains but it pours. Now I’m about to go away for a week. Does Florida have Internet? We’ll see.

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