I'm not quite clear as to why Diana is so upset, if she is upset for
that appearance may be an artifact of the genre (e-list post). It is not
as though a police detail knocked on her door in the middle of the night
and proclaimed, any more speculation on ivory and off you go to the
Gulag. Anyone of course has a 'right' to say anything they want to say
and speculate to their heart's content. But by the same token anyone has
the right to say that some speculations are silly. That is not a
suppression of freedom of speech but an exercise of that privilege.
(Trotsky once remarked, in reference to one of the leaders of the u.s.
'trotskyist' party, that everyone had a right to be a damned fool, but
some people abused the right. ;->)
[An aside on proper use of "ad hominem"-- an ad hominem argument needs
to be distinguished from a personal attack. Example of an ad hominem
argument: (1) Bob Jones argues X (2) Bob Jones is a Schmuck (3)
Therefore X is false. In other words, an ad hominem argument is a
certain kind of logical fallacy. Here is what a personal attack (but
_not_ an ad hominem argument) would look like: (1) X is a vicious belief
(2) Bob Jones argues for X (3) Bob Jones is a Schmuck. That's a formally
valid argument though false if the premises are false.]
The speculations on ivory, turning to that, are a bit weird, in that
they are trying to arrive at an explanation of why a line was _not_ in
the poem. That opens up an infinite vista. If the Odyssey-poet didn't
put in Book 24 of the _Odyssey_ (as some scholars argue), why didn't he?
And then the whole damned European War gets tossed in on the basis of
fooling around with a word that isn't in the poem! Wow! Especially since
every reader since 1922 has noticed that the war was certainly enmeshed
in the poem, and all those observations without knowing that the poem
really contained the word ivory which was about the war! The greatest
slaughter in world history and it only sneaks into the poem through an
unconscious response to a word that isn't in the poem.