In literature, there is a long tradition of the "found" or "false" document, a device that has been used by such diverse writers as Cervantes, Robert Graves, Voltaire, Italo Calvino, Margaret Atwood, George MacDonald Frazier, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Charles Barnitz makes use of this conceit to present a critical introduction and a collection of sonnets and two longer poems written by a nameless chancery clerk from an alternate reality where computing technology existed during the Elizabethan age. The arc of this collection of verse shows a poet who had turned his back on literature for unspecified reasons to make a career as a technical writer and editor. Despite his good intentions, discouragement gradually sets in as the tone of the poems, which begin with examples of technical sonneteering and writing advice, becomes disillusioned, despondent, and darkly comic. If young Will Shakespeare had been consigned to a chancery cube under the supervision of a pointy-haired boss, he might have produced sonnets in this vein.
Used availability for Charles Barnitz's Will Shakespeare, Technical Writer and Editor
April 2013 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition