Attributing Authorship: An Introduction by Harold Love

By Harold Love

Fresh literary scholarship has visible a shift of curiosity clear of questions of attribution. This ebook is the 1st entire literary survey of the sector to seem in 40 years. It revisits a few recognized controversies, together with these in regards to the authorship of the Homeric poems, books from the previous and New Testaments, and the performs of Shakespeare. Written with wit and erudition, the learn makes this exciting box available for college kids and students.

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Hypothesised sources for the New Testament Gospels include, firstly, each other (with Matthew and Luke drawing on Mark and a lost source ‘Q’); secondly, individual shorter narratives and collections of sayings (‘pericopai’); and thirdly such non-narrative documents as Testimony Books listing the Old Testament predictions of the life of Christ. The search for traces of these tributary genres is called Form Criticism. Historical criticism is concerned with the milieu in which a work was assembled and quickly leads to a concern with the particular crisis in the life of nation or church to which it was addressed; so, Mark is seen by some as directed to Roman Christians suffering under the Neronian persecutions.

All these possibilities need to be considered in any investigation into the presence and effects of precursory authorship. EXECUTIVE AUTHORSHIP Our second category is that of the maker or artifex, whom we will call the executive author – the deviser, the orderer, the wordsmith, or, in the case of Liszt, the reformulator. As we have seen, this function may be performed singly or collaboratively. The executive author may be defined as the compiler of the verbal text up to the point where it is judged suitable for publication in one or another form (all subsequent alterations being classified as revisions).

This is probably the condition of most authorship by modern, and no doubt many ancient, heads of state. Even Julius Caesar, who was no bad hand at Latin prose, delegated the accounts of his three last campaigns to assistants. This description is helpful in identifying some of the separate functions involved in collaborative authorship. The source of the ideas is not specified: no doubt Clinton contributed thoughts of his own and there would be a ready supply of White House and Democratic Party position papers.

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