Writing with my psychotherapist hat on, I do think there is an interesting sideline in the reviews of James Shapiro's 'Contested Will'. There are repeated allusions to pathology and so forth, e.g.,
and now James Shapiro himself in a BBC interview says, 'Because they need to imagine something very powerfully that doesn’t relate to what actually happened....And that’s hard to explain...I’m not a psychoanalyst but THAT’s what this is ultimately about.'
The most distinguished intellectual figure ever to sign up to the proposition that someone else wrote Shakespeare's plays is Sigmund Freud. The founder of psychoanalysis wrote brilliant essays on Shakespeare, and 'Hamlet' underpinned the ideas that led to the 'Oedipus complex'. For James Shapiro, Freud's conviction that the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare is bound up with a search for Oedipal themes in Oxford's life - and a crisis of faith and identity following Freud's father's death in 1896.'
Isn't this contradiction just a little 'intellectually bankrupt' ?