Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Authorship, Attribution, and Anonymity

The Book History Colloquium at Columbia University is pleased to
announce the following lecture:

Peter Stallybrass, “Authorship, Attribution, and Anonymity”

SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 (TUESDAY), 523 Butler Library, 6pm
This event is free & open to the public.

“Authorship, Attribution, and Anonymity”

In this talk, Stallybrass will be looking at what were perhaps the two
most popular poems to circulate in manuscript in the seventeenth
century. Both are now attributed to Sir Walter Ralegh, and it is under
his name as a poet that they circulate and are read and studied today.
But the two poems circulated quite differently in the seventeenth
century. The first, “Even such is time,” appeared most frequently in
collections of state papers, where it is invariably attributed to
Ralegh. Indeed, for a short poem, attribution plays a striking role: we
are usually told not only who wrote it but also the day and place of
writing. And it is often the only poem in these collections, nearly
always associated with Ralegh’s final speech before he was executed. The
other poem, “What is our life?,” is now also said to be by Ralegh,
although it was first printed anonymously as the lyrics for an air by
Orlando Gibbons and then circulated, in the great majority of cases
anonymously, in poetic miscellanies.

Peter Stallybrass is Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the
Humanities and Professor of English and of Comparative Literature and
Literary Theory, University of Pennsylvania


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