- Mar 2, 2008Nobody is going to test something without reason. You need good
reason. You don't supply any. You just don't take someone to court
for no reason. You just don't arrest some random person on the
street and try him for murder. You have cause, grand juries, etc.
You are jumping the gun here.
You are also avoiding evidence. You need to address the time-line
argument. You need to admit your forger knew something scholars
didn't. And that something he knew, why didn't he sell that? I
responded to your point 3 in your last post with facts and showed
your argument to be faulty on several grounds. Well, you thought my
point good enough to respond to then, what about now? You can't
ignore it. You are doing what all conspiracy theorists do, avoiding
the evidence and "dwelling" on a minor ooh, ooh facts.
You bring out the old your a bullheaded individual and won't change
your mind. No, I am here for a discussion.
You pull out the old argument that other fakes were found therefore
this may be a fake. Again, that means what, exactly? "Your honor,
people have stolen therefore this person may have stolen." "Okay,
let's try him."
No one has brought forth good cause for concern.
The way I see it is this: There are three ways to test Wasp:
1) The Scholar's approach.
2) The Detective's approach.
3) The Scientist's approach.
It is a matter of ethics almost that you do the other two before you
so easily jump to number 3, which does require not only money but
damaging the document. (I have no idea how much damage, to tell you
the truth, but even if minor, I still believe we should do all else
before this step otherwise we have cause to test everything.)
The detective's approach would be to ask the auction house if they
would be willing to notify the first seller for you and have some
questions answered or if he would be willing to come out of the
woodwork. Or to, let's say, try and figure out who he was through
some other means. I never attempted this.
I believe my paper shows that jumping to number 3 is a waste of
time. No, I didn't prove it so and no, don't listen to Mike's
obnoxious claims of my "knowing" it genuine. I can only claim that I
find it foolish to do number 3 at this time. There is nothing
suspect enough about this piece to take the damaging and costly step
of number 3.
You only have two real contentions here: the provenance and the
quality. It is quite difficult for you and me to handle that last.
First, you must expect it by definition to be inferior for the most
part to anything still in Looking-Glass, and understand that it is a
galley and even though it may have some Carroll corrections on it, it
may be less fine tuned than the printed book. Second, I can only
really respond to specific points, not general, about its quality. I
collected such published points and handled them in my article as
best I could.
Just for a bit of fun, for anybody who has not read my article, how
would you defend these two accusations.
1) The Wasp galleys use the word "gray," the American spelling and
not "grey," the British spelling.
2) Carroll would never have followed one old character (the White
Knight) with another old character (the Wasp).
Mike, you mention that I use textual arguments to prove the
authenticity. I never did anything on these grounds, actually. I
was planning on testing the writing on certain textual matters the
way Don Foster did in his book. But I thought it was going a bit too
far. In fact, some of my Carroll friends thought I covered too many
of the silly little points, like the two above, and thought that I
wasted my time with the paper as a whole because no serious scholars
today have any doubts.
My paper does not just discuss authenticity. My favorite part is the
third section where I discuss how Looking-Glass once couched it.
Come on, the thing is half as long as all previous chapters. What to
make of that?
Personally, the reason why I believe it authentic is not only the
time-line issue but also the bold decisions this supposed forger
made. He did too many things that would just draw attention to
itself. Why use the word "gray' at all, even if it can be defended?
Why have an old character next to another, even if it can be
defended? Why have it so short? Why risk composing when he could
simply do 30 sheets of some known text (the Knight Chapter itself)
and probably get nearly the same money? Why use Carroll's hand
printed S when a cursive S would be expected? Why place it after the
Knight chapter when others had it earlier and one even stating it as
The Harvard contents page shows that short chapters are possible.
The Christ Church document shows it is after the Knight chapter. He
could not have made these decisions unless he had both of these docs,
not just one. He could have had a third, but what was that?
Continue to ignore this and who is going to listen to you?
Subsequent finds support authenticity. How many other such finds
will it take to begin to see the questionable provenance as nothing
but a little error?
You are jumping the gun with your scientific method. One starts with
a genuine hypothesis, not a ungrounded one. For example, I have a
letter from some one who encloses a letter that Carroll sent to a
relative of his. He tells me the recipient was Joe when in fact it
was Sam. He was wrong. Should I now snip the letter and test it?
Of course not. Other facts are clear to me. The man was just wrong,
for whatever reasons. I can't ignore those other facts. You are
Mike wrote < For me it's always seemed fundamental to the scientific
method that any
hypothesis should be tested in so far as this is possible. >
I don't think "any hypothesis should be tested." Monkeys flew out of
Newton's ass is one that doesn't need testing. Only sound hypothesis
need testing, ones made without the ignorance of facts.
< It also seems pure common sense that if one is confident of the
one's hypothesis one should be quite willing to see it tested, and 'my
hypothesis is too right to need testing' to me bespeaks outrageous
arrogance and/or underlying insecurity. >
The old I'm a bullhead argument. Wonderful. Let's turn it around,
shall we? I'd rather not. I didn't write a paper to show how
needless it would be to test a document to have it proven by actually
testing the document. Anyway, I'm not scared or insecure in the
least. This is a laugh. I bet fewer people here find that I
have "outrageous arrogance" than you have outrageous ignorance. For
you must ignore a lot to argue that this thing needs scientific
testing. I'm not opposed to any safe scientific testing though I do
feel it a waste of time. At this time, I certainly am opposed to any
testing that would damage the goods.
I'm just arguing concepts and ideas. My personality does not have to
come into play. You brought it into play, what, three times now?
(Excuse me for the repetition but I do not have time to fine tune
this post and cut it down. I'll do so when I get the galleys.)
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