In an op-ed on the eve of his anti-Strattfordian namesake's death, L.A. Times editorial writer Robert Greene drops the unhappy news that he is undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
I have no idea how large (modern) Robert Greene's fanbase is, but I know he has a fanbase. To everybody else I recommend the full op-ed, which is an excellent introduction. Robert's central gag is that while the Elizabethan-era Robert Greene is known only as a footnote to Shakespeare history, he's still more famous than the modern one:
His bad example provides a warning against six of the seven deadly sins. But it also provides a sense of perspective. It helps me enjoy the otherwise humbling fact that not only am I no Shakespeare, I'm not even the best-known or most successful writer named Robert Greene. In addition to the original, there is the award-winning former columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Oprah Winfrey's favorite fitness guru, and the modern-day Machiavelli, hailed by rappers and film producers, who wrote tomes on power and seduction. I've gotten calls at my desk from hopeful readers thinking they'd reached one of those Robert Greenes. Sorry. I'm the mostly anonymous editorial writer.
Next spring though, if I'm still around — and I'm laying odds I will be — I will write you one heck of a judicial endorsement. Perhaps some upstart blogger will rewrite it into a masterpiece.
One other title modern Robert Green can claim: If the Times' had repealed its anachronistic policy of not allowing authors to sign their editorials, Robert would have gained more than anybody else in that paper's opinioneering bullpen. If he were writing under even his well-used name, Robert would be recognized as one the best opinion journalists in the country. And I say that even though he is an instinctive leftist who, if he were faced with the historic choice between Stalin and Trotsky, would pick Beria.
I wish Robert a full and speedy recovery and many more groatsworths of wit.