By Harold Love
Fresh literary scholarship has noticeable a shift of curiosity clear of questions of attribution. This e-book is the 1st entire literary survey of the sphere to seem in 40 years. It revisits a few recognized controversies, together with these in regards to the authorship of the Homeric poems, books from the previous and New Testaments, and the performs of Shakespeare. Written with wit and erudition, the learn makes this fascinating box available for college kids and students.
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Extra resources for Attributing Authorship: An Introduction
In the case of seditious writings circulating in manuscript, mere possession of such a work, if the accused was not prepared to reveal the source, was enough to constitute constructive authorship. Blasphemy and pornography were originally dealt with by the clerical courts, before moving into the secular jurisdiction during the seventeenth century. Prosecutions for blasphemy were brought against a number of works of an anti-Christian tendency, but providing those who held such positions were urbane enough to insinuate their views rather than proclaiming them directly they were not much troubled.
The co-presence of a precursory author should not be taken to imply a lack of individuality in the work concerned. In a different way, parodies, which consciously pervert the work of their precursory authors, could not exist without them. A second mode of precursory authorship is found in works that directly incorporate extensive material from a preceding work into a new one. Even in oral transmission it was possible for longer texts to absorb pre-existing shorter texts: the identiﬁcation of embedded elements has been an important preoccupation of Homeric scholarship.
Executive authorship may be either solo or collaborative. In contemporary Western culture the former is the more prestigious mode and the one most likely to be asserted by publishers; the danger is always that it will be too readily assumed. Collaboration is easiest to unravel when it proceeds section by section, providing it can be ascertained that this really was the case. Eighteenthcentury periodical literature yields several cases where two or more executive authors took it in turns to produce numbers: famous examples are the English Spectator and the American Federalist.