Robert Detobel reports that the Rheinischer Merkur (Rhineland Mercury — world news for Germany) published a review of Kurt Kreiler’s biography of Oxford, Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand: Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford (1550-1604) (The Man who Invented Shakespeare: etc.). The review was written by German author Sibylle Mulot on September 24, 2009:
Detobel has provided a partial translation of the article, having left out portions of “. . . well-known retrospective, mainly on Looney.”
Robert Detobel partial translation of “Vergsst Shakespeare!” (Forget Shakespeare!) by Sibylle Mulot in the Rheinischer Merkur September 24, 2009:
BIOGRAPHIC RESEARCH / Is the world famous name of the poet from Stratford-upon-Avon but a pseudonym? Yes, Kurt Kreilers says, in an impressive study. In truth, the creator of Hamlet and and Macbeth was the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere.
VON SIBYLLE MULOT (Note: Sibylle Mulot is a German author, born in 1959.)
In the beginning was the suspicion. The trader and sometime player of Stratford-upon-Avon was illiterate. That’s the upshot after decades of frenetic research. Possibly he could write his name? Six scrawls on six deeds show him as “Shaksper”, then as “Shakspere” or “Shakspear”….
Therefore, Shakespeare admirers for a long time consider “Will Shaksper” from Stratford-upon-Avon to be a front and the poet’s name “William Shakespeare“ a pseudonym. Since 1850 Shakespeare research has split. The partisans of “the Man of Stratford“, in their majority middle-class professors, fight tooth and nail against the doubters of the theory of the miraculous petty bourgeois. Did not the name “William Shakespeare” appear on the title-pages of the first printed plays? Not really. Actually the name read “William Shake-speare” with a hyphen, a hint in those times that it was “a telling pseudonym”. This was first overlooked, then denied. Granted, it cannot be proved that Shakespeare went to school. But– in Stratford there was a Grammar School! How many things could he have learned there! Granted, he never left England, but how many things could he have seen there, had he been there! The great genius was just an unlearned petty bourgeois, basta. The petty trader had to be a genius because of the big business, the millions of visitors, pilgriming each year to their hero in Stratford or what they imagined him to be, at stake were festivals, world fame, uniqueness.
. . .
In 1920 Looney found the needle in the haystack . . .
In Germany it was possible to be informed on de Vere’s war adventures, his politic quarrels, his engagement in the theatre … since 1995 when Walter Klier for the first time summarized Looney’s findings. Ten years later the US author Mark Anderson presented old and new “evidence“ and came to the conclusion that Shakespeare was “one of the most autobiographical authors that ever were“.
Now a new, comprehensive book has appeared from the pen of the long-standing German Shakespeare researcher Kurt Kreiler, a historical-biographical-stylistical analysis provided with new findings and concentrating on de Vere’s cultural tradition, his individuality and his poetic art. A homage, also suitable as initial reading, to the “master of poetical self-reflection“, the artist of love rhetorics, a soul-knowing tragedian and an illusionsless illusionist. Reasonable doubts that de Vere is Shakespeare are no longer possible. But no really good myth will ever proceed from thence: the man is too complicated, his life already too well investigated, not appropriate as projection surface. Good myths ought to be simple, incredible and homely.
Kurt Kreiler: Der Mann, der Shakespeare erfand. Insel Verlag, Frankfurt 2009. 600 Seiten, 29,80 Euro. Mark Anderson:Shakespeare by Another Name. The Life of Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, The Man Who Was Shakespeare. Gotham Books, NY 2005. 640 Seiten.
Note from Robert Detobel October 5, 2009:
The largest part of the (Rheinischer Merkur) review was not a review of Kreiler’s book but a retrospect of the Oxfordian case, mainly with reference to Looney. I translated the opening lines, the references to Klier and Anderson and, finally the last (and only) paragraph on Kreiler’s book. It was, however, a clear statement in favor of Oxford.