[Milton-L] Gary Taylor

Molly Hand m.molly.hand at gmail.com
Sun May 18 17:13:39 EDT 2008


Am I right that you're referring to Henry Turner's recent work?  And that
you quote Turner, who is quite a good scholar, unfairly here, in order to
malign both Turner and Taylor?  I don't normally enter the fray on this
listserv, but I have to say, this just seems like exceptionally bad form.

--Molly


On Sun, May 18, 2008 at 3:57 PM, R. Nesvet <upstart_crow2 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Gary Taylor awarded a fellowship or residency to a critic whom he called
> "one of the six most brilliant Renaissance scholars in the world under 40,"
> who argues that:
>
> 1) "genetic mutations" occurring in the human species since the sixteenth
> century may account for some of what we don't know about sixteenth-century
> thought and behaviour
>
> 2) that, as a rule, "the more time, space, and diverse representations of
> events separate us from them, the more difficult it is to discern absolutely
> what actually occurred" (I argued that I am more certain that Fenton killed
> Buckingham by himself than that Oswald killed Kennedy by himself, but
> whatever).
>
> 3) ... that consequently, we can't know what happened in the past and it's
> presumptuous and futile to try to figure it out.
>
> 4) ... but, conversely, "'consistency of representation' as a strong form
> of evidence." So if 6 early modern writers claim that pelicans nurse their
> young with their own blood, then sixteenth-century pelicans must have done
> just that. This is not the example that said critic gives. He was saying
> that the 16th-century equivalent of penny dreadfuls accurately represented
> that criminal underworld. But obviously this is not a reasonable *theory* in
> general application.
>
> If this is one of Taylor's six most brilliant scholars, I'd hate to read
> #7.
>
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