Roland Emmerich, the director best known for allowing Will Smith to cold-cock an alien during Independence Day, has recently set his sights on a more literary type of fiction. His new film Anonymous posits that William Shakespeare's untouchable oeuvre was not written by that pointy-bearded commoner with the frilly collar, but by the nobleman Edward de Vere. Scholarly sorts have roundly rejected the film and its premise, but these questions of authorship and authenticity have dogged Shakespeare for centuries. This afternoon the English Department of Saint Louis University hosts "Mr. William Shakespeare: Fraud?," a roundtable discussion in light of Emmerich's film and this type of literary conspiracy theory. Professor Jonathan Sawday moderates the conversation, which will also include writer/director Billy Shebar (Dark Matter). The free event takes place at Il Monastero Sanctuary (3050 Olive Boulevard) and begins at 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 314-977-3010.
Tue., Nov. 15, 2011

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