- Mar 3, 2008Matt,
Everything I wished to contribute to this debate I said in my first
post and repeated in my third - namely that it is simply good
methodology not to be too confident of the Wasp's authenticity
pending further tests. I have no time for a lengthy debate over old
ground, especiallly when the central point of my postings has been
that such debate is irrelevant until the tests can be done. The
provenance alone strikes me as grounds for caution, and the
impression I get from my wider reading is that most experts in the
field would agree. I'd really recommend you to read a bit more in
the general area of document forgery and authentication to see how
much store people with experience in the field set by provenance -
Simon Worrall''s 'The Poet and the Murderer' is a good place to start
and tells a cracking good story.
I was interested to read in Mr Everson's piece of the test done on
the Anne Frank diary. If tests were considered advisable - just to
be on the safe side, presumably - on a document which had been kept
in the creator's family from the moment of her death to the moment of
its donation to the Institute, it's very hard to see how being on the
safe side isn't worthwhile when dealing with a document which has
been out of sight for 75 years and then emerges with a questionable
I'm sorry you found my comments on the content of your postings (NOT
your personality) so upsetting, but I'm afraid I do find it arrogant
to be so certain of one's rightness that merely checking it is
considered actively objectionable. And I will continue to do so no
matter how many times you call me obnoxious, ignorant, and a
lightweight scholar, or resort to cheap and silly misrepresentations
of my viewpoint. For me the discussion is over.
> Nobody is going to test something without reason. You need good
> reason. You don't supply any. You just don't take someone to
> for no reason. You just don't arrest some random person on themy
> 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
> point good enough to respond to then, what about now? You can'tavoiding
> ignore it. You are doing what all conspiracy theorists do,
> the evidence and "dwelling" on a minor ooh, ooh facts.you
> 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
> so easily jump to number 3, which does require not only money butyou
> damaging the document. (I have no idea how much damage, to tell
> the truth, but even if minor, I still believe we should do all elseI
> 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
> find it foolish to do number 3 at this time. There is nothingstep
> suspect enough about this piece to take the damaging and costly
> of number 3.last.
> You only have two real contentions here: the provenance and the
> quality. It is quite difficult for you and me to handle that
> First, you must expect it by definition to be inferior for the mosta
> part to anything still in Looking-Glass, and understand that it is
> 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 onlyI
> really respond to specific points, not general, about its quality.
> collected such published points and handled them in my article astoo
> 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
> far. In fact, some of my Carroll friends thought I covered toomany
> of the silly little points, like the two above, and thought that Ischolars
> wasted my time with the paper as a whole because no serious
> today have any doubts.the
> My paper does not just discuss authenticity. My favorite part is
> third section where I discuss how Looking-Glass once couched it.to
> Come on, the thing is half as long as all previous chapters. What
> make of that?defended?
> 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
> Why have an old character next to another, even if it can bethe
> 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
> Knight chapter when others had it earlier and one even stating itas
> The Harvard contents page shows that short chapters are possible.
> The Christ Church document shows it is after the Knight chapter.
> could not have made these decisions unless he had both of thesedocs,
> not just one. He could have had a third, but what was that?with
> 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
> a genuine hypothesis, not a ungrounded one. For example, I have awrong,
> 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
> for whatever reasons. I can't ignore those other facts. You arescientific
> ignoring them.
> Mike wrote < For me it's always seemed fundamental to the
> method that anyof
> hypothesis should be tested in so far as this is possible. >
> I don't think "any hypothesis should be tested." Monkeys flew out
> Newton's ass is one that doesn't need testing. Only soundhypothesis
> need testing, ones made without the ignorance of facts.and 'my
> < It also seems pure common sense that if one is confident of the
> accuracy of
> one's hypothesis one should be quite willing to see it tested,
> hypothesis is too right to need testing' to me bespeaks outrageousactually
> 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
> testing the document. Anyway, I'm not scared or insecure in theFor
> least. This is a laugh. I bet fewer people here find that I
> have "outrageous arrogance" than you have outrageous ignorance.
> you must ignore a lot to argue that this thing needs scientificdo
> testing. I'm not opposed to any safe scientific testing though I
> feel it a waste of time. At this time, I certainly am opposed toany
> testing that would damage the goods.to
> I'm just arguing concepts and ideas. My personality does not have
> 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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