Had hoped to go to Macedonia the weekend after next to wander around first world war battlefields, but the organisers of the Vojvodina event I was supposed to go to on the 7th have screwed up, and now it’s on the 6th; so I can’t go. So I think I will do a work-not-pleasure trip, going to Kosovo on the 10th, doing meetings there on the 11th, drive to Montenegro on the 12th, celebrate Montenegro’s independence on the 13th, home on the 14th.

It’s over 40 degrees in Macedonia at the moment anyway, so probably not ideal weather for clambering around the rugged ridges to the north of Lake Doiran. With any luck I will be able to get there in the autumn.

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1 Response to Bah

  1. peterbirks says:

    Fascinating stuff, Nicholas. I’ve no intention of spending as much time as you did in getting immersed in this matter. At my school (a grammar school!), the line was “Shakespeare was a genius, and that’s that”. My feelings today are that your final sentence is the one that demolishes most of the “anti-Shakespeare” brigade’s argument. Lack of documentary evidence is no evidence at all when lack of documentary evidence is the norm. The miraculous compilation of these plays into the First Folio is the incredible event, not that little other historical record of Shakespeare survives

    If I had to put my money on anything (but my opinion counts for naught here, I know), it would be that Shakespeare (the man) was the main author of what is currently called his “collection”, but that a fair degree of hack work was involved, bashing stuff together from other sources and collaborating to bring stuff together. Think of today’s scriptwriters for US and UK comedy series and soaps.

    Also, as a bit of a text-fiend, I’m uite a fan of allowing the text to stand alone, without worrying too much about the thoughts of the author as he put it down. This isn’t too fashionable in the UK any more (the standard joke is that if Dickens turned up at an undergrad Eng Lit class and offered to explain parts of Martin Chuzzlewith, many a modern English lecturer would say “Oh, I don’t think that you would have anything useful to add”), but it does ssave us from an awfully large number of arguments when it comes to deconstructing “Shakespeare” (the playwright). Oh dear, I can feel an attack of Semiology coming on. Best go have a lie-down.

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