What’s In A Name?

Here’s what I mean when I use certain names or terms. You can also read this new sonnet (#155).

  • Shakespeare, or Shake-Speare, or the Author: used in contexts where my personal identity as creator of “the works of Shakespeare” (the canon) is irrelevant or unacknowledged. At times it’s just more convenient. Shakespeare is a cultural construct, a representation, a meme – though many don’t know it or won’t admit it.
  • Willy, or Shakspere (his properly spelled surname), or Shax, or (thanks to Jeff) Shaggy: the front, the myth, the convenient untruth. The parsimonious plaintiff of doubtful literacy from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. My legacy’s usurper. Not Shakespeare.
  • The Shakespeare Industry, or Stratford: the collective of trusts, organizations, companies, towns, boards of tourism, merchants, museums, libraries, publishers, university departments, professors, graduate students, authors, experts, et cetera, whose financial prosperity and/or professional standing is tied to the Gospel of Willy. It took the Roman Catholic Church 359 years to apologize to Galileo. Stratford’s Williocentricism sits at 401, and still counting.
  • Stratfordians can be referred to as being ‘from Warwickshire’.
  • Normally I call the work my plays, my sonnets, my poems, or whatever applies. It’s my stuff. Nothing is truer than truth. Vero Nihil Verius.