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The Hand That Holds the Pen 

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The Hand That Holds the Pen

I found both The Beard of Avon, which I've seen, and Justin Hayford's review ["The Easy Route," October 11] troubling. The script has the Earl of Oxford state that it doesn't matter who wrote the plays, and Mr. Hayford repeats this sentiment.

Both are examples of collectivism, which robs the plays' author of their individuality and their uniqueness. Writing, particularly good writing, is artistic expression inherently interwoven to the artist's life and experience. I believe an understanding of an artist's life leads to a deeper appreciation of their work, leads to a deeper empathy with the artist. Isn't seeing something in a new way, coming to a deeper understanding of our world, the purpose of art?

Taken to its logical conclusion, if it doesn't matter who wrote the Shakespeare plays, it doesn't matter who wrote anything. Is there really no difference between Mark Twain and Charles Dickens? Between Cole Porter and George Gershwin? Between Amy Freed and Tina Vogel? Between Justin Hayford and Larry Bommer? I don't think so.

Tom Hartman

N. Magnolia


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