The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110621   Message #2333310
Posted By: Nerd
05-May-08 - 11:44 AM
Thread Name: Bertsongs? (songs of A. L. 'Bert' Lloyd)
Subject: RE: Bertsongs?
I think we all do make allowances for Bert. This is why I find Dick's comments puzzling. In my paper, and in my posts, I'm very careful to say that Bert should be viewed not only in the context of his times, but in the context of the scholarly tradition, and that what he did is actually quite in line with what a lot of other popularizing scholars have done--again, the Brothers Grimm being a good example. The achievements of the Grimms, and of Lloyd, should not be minimized. At the same time, when engaging in scholarship, we need to be careful not to take their claims, or their versions of texts, at face value as a representation of the tradition, because they are are compromised in various ways.

I always do say that Lloyd was and remains enormously important, enormously engaging as a writer, enormously entertaining as a singer. For us scholars, it can actually be fun to try to figure out what Lloyd did and why. Still, I say, we can wish he had been less secretive and downright misleading about his editorial interventions.

So this is what I and many of us other scholars say, taking care to heap praise upon Lloyd before saying anything critical. Our criticisms rarely amount to anything like a scathing attack. Yet no matter how much praise we heap, and no matter how gentle our criticisms, any whiff of critique leads to demands that we "make allowances" for him.

I guess our only recourse is to agree that he is above all criticism, then.

Somehow, I don't think he would have wanted that...