I'm taking a break from proofreading, here, without any clear idea of what I want to add to the string of "Updates" I've been writing every other day for some months, now--except for this.
Once again, I am at a juncture where one of my pet theories could, potentially, be disproven. (I know the dictionary doesn't have the word "disproven," but I think it is in common usage, and I like it better, in this context, than "disproved.") I have concluded that from late 1829 until March of 1832, Mathew Franklin Whittier (myself in the 19th century) is living in New York City, and writing for a newspaper called the "Constellation." But before I discovered this, I had determined that, in May, he began writing book reviews for a Boston young man's magazine called "The Essayist." He had been contributing to that magazine since its launch, in Sept. of 1831 (the next edition not appearing until Feb. of 1832); but once he started writing book reviews, presumably, he would be on-staff. At any rate, in subsequent issues he speaks of attending meetings in Boston, so either he has moved there, or has moved back home to nearby Haverhill, Mass.
I am certain that it is Mathew who wrote for both of these publications. However, my researcher had not yet gotten to year 1832 in the "Constellation," and she is poised to do so in about a week. If my theory is correct, what I have identified as his work in that paper should drop off in May. If it doesn't, that would throw serious doubt on all of these identifications.
So I report it, here, before my researcher reports back to me on the 1832 "Constellation." I don't think there's much cause for worry. As said, I'm certain of Mathew's involvement in both publications.
Oh, here's something interesting. I have mentioned (I think) that I found an instance of Mathew quoting the poetry of Francis Quarles, in such a way as to almost definitely conclude that he was tacitly acknowledging that he (Mathew) was the original author of "The Raven," and not Edgar Allan Poe. ("----- Quarles" was the pseudonym under which that poem was first published.) Recently, I learned that Mathew quoted Francis Quarles as early as Sept. 1831, having come into possession of one of his 18th-century publications; and just now, I found that he wrote an extended critique, with multiple excerpts quoted.
No one clue is ever proof, especially to a skeptic. But the evidence is mounting up. I have two strong clues, in context with many others, which tell me that Mathew did, indeed, originally write this poem. No-one, of course, would take me seriously. If I thought they would--if I was still naive enough at age 63--I would start calling all the Poe experts in the world. I would then expect them to publish articles giving me credit for the discovery. Radio interviews, and then television appearances, would follow. I would be asked to speak at conventions; and I would not be struggling financially as I am at present, nor would my work be ignored.
But I am no spring chicken. I know how the world works. You can have something true, and you can prove it, but if it is not to Society's liking, you still will not have validation or recognition. If you finally succeed in getting someone's attention, who perchance is ambitious and unscrupulous--and if that person can figure out a way to exclude you and make money off the idea--they will steal it from you.
So I just mention it here, for posterity. I have essentially proven, to a standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mathew Franklin Whittier was the original author of "The Raven." You can laugh in your shirt-sleeves (as Mathew would say) if you want to.
Anyone reading this blog can have no idea of the stress of my personal life, lately, as I get up at 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning to work on this project; and then, begin caretaking my 98-year-old mother at 10:00, which work continues, with increasingly short breaks, until about 8:30 in the evening. By that time, I am utterly exhausted, and can work no more. If I manage to beat insomnia (a complaint MFW also had), I can get a few hours' work done the next morning. And so it goes, day after day, as I continue to write these blogs for recreation, and as they continue to be met with a stony silence by the public, the media and my ostensible peers.
A colleague, who once admired my documentary, is pushing a case which he believes constitutes proof of time travel. A manuscript is discovered, written by a man who had claimed to have visited the future, and to have written about it. I think it's a hoax. If he back-dated it, everything he predicts in the 20th century he could have already witnessed; and as for the future, there is no proof of anything he says, beyond what anyone might reasonably predict. I think it is a work of fiction being taken as reality, like "War of the Worlds."
When I respectfully expressed this opinion, said colleague stopped having anything to do with me. Meanwhile, my case is genuine. He had an amazing, true case right in front of him (i.e., mine), which he has eschewed for this fantasy novel.
Thus do people, who are not sufficiently prepared, choose the bauble over the diamond.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page, "Won't Get Fooled Again," by The Who, from the album, "Who's Next"