Lesson learned

And this is why I will avoid reviewing in that genre in the future: If you can stand it, follow the link in the review comment to the authors’ cogent response.

*And in all honesty, I do come across as a bit of a jerk in my review*

5 thoughts on “Lesson learned

    • I did like that “maybe” regarding the location of the manuscripts.

      I probably should have just kept my mouth shut, knowing how aggressive the authors are about their work. I didn’t expect the shower of insults. The wild assumptions as to my motives, origins, and malevolence don’t help their argument against my accusations of sloppy research. Considering a search on ‘midgardarts’ will get my old e-mail and my name on the 3rd page of Google, I think that only re-enforces my point. But hey, I’m just an ‘academic’ (an insult in their circles on the same scale as f***ing c**t).

      Nothing will kill your interest in historical martial arts quicker than the community itself.

      • I think people like that are much more elitist than academics. They seem to be trying to set themselves up as godlike authorities who are above trivia like references, and if anyone challenges anything they write they get all defensive. The logical conclusion of his arguments is that he doesn’t really need to base his work on medieval manuscripts because he might as well just make it all up. Academics insist on proper citations because we don’t trust each other’s authority very far and want to make sure anyone can check the sources.

  1. I think you are right, particularly about the distorted contempt for citations. If you are going to make an argument, based on some source (and not based on something abstract or conceptual) you are expected to show your work and saying you found a similar word in Malory isn’t good enough you need to cite chapter and verse so we can follow back to the sources.

    I often get the feeling that there is a strange thread of competition, where some writers don’t want to show their work because they are letting out some secret they have worked hard to find. That is common in that community where they feel a need to with-hold the details, to protect their source (and their claim to special status and privileged knowledge).

    There are many examples of this in that book, which I didn’t mention, entirely representative of their lack of care with their research. Like the statement that Sydney Anglo ‘discovered’ MS Add. 39564 in the British Library. Anglo was certainly the first person to mention the scroll in a work related to martial culture but anyone could ‘discover’ it, by simply going through the BL catalogue and index. The ms was described in the 1933 print volume of the BM catalogue and I suspect Anglo found it (and the Titus ms) through the BL digital catalogue that came online around 1997-8. Just like my real name, these things are all hiding in plain sight.

  2. Pingback: Magic! | Pen, Book, Sword.

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