Well, no, not really, but Colin Burrow's full frontal assault on Stephen Greenblatt's new biography of Shakespeare certainly reminded me of Dan Green's well-known dislike of literary biography in general. As a literary historian, I'm particularly fond of this line in Burrow's review: "Shakespeare may or may not have been Catholic, but generally if a document that sounds too good to be true is found exactly where you’d hope to find it and then goes missing in mysterious circumstances it is indeed too good to be true."
I don't particularly share Dan's loathing for this particular genre--an enjoyable biography is its own kind of pleasure, no matter what kind of biography it is--but biographical interpretations of literature tend to drive me up the wall and through the ceiling, especially because such interpretations look so easy and, in practice, prove to be so difficult. Undergraduates and graduate students often grasp the point that a "real event" transformed into fiction takes on a whole new meaning and shape, but getting them to apply that point in an essay is an entirely different ball game. (For that reason, I usually issue a blanket injunction against anything that looks remotely like a biographical reading.) Given the kind of literature I work on, biographies can certainly come in handy for basic empirical data (just when was Emma Leslie born, anyway?), but it's dangerous to presume one-to-one correspondences between What the Book Says and What the Author Thought in even the most didactic of novels. Osborn W. Trenery Heighway can't be the only convicted fraud out there, after all.