What we find in fact is rather different: a story of prolonged debate largely, often exclusively, over the thinking of the fictitious Anselm of the Gaunilo tradition, that conveniently naive fellow who made his whole point in Prosl. II and added nothing relevant thereafter, in contrast to the historically demonstrable, keen-witted philosopher whose main point first appeared in Prosl. III, and was considerably amplified and carefully defended in still later discussions. And the last thing anyone saw clearly was the abstract-concrete paradox, the heart of the whole problem; the problem, however, not alone of the Proof, but of theism itself.
Such is the tale--'stranger than fiction', though in a sense about a fiction--which we shall now tell, partly in the words of some of the chief participants. The story has at least a happy ending, for it seems to show that the long-stretchedout farce is nearing its probable dénouement, and that the unconscious falsehoods about the magnificent doctor can scarcely retain their innocence, which has been their strength, much longer.
Whatever the first commentator upon a philosopher may say, be it intelligent or otherwise, he will of course have been the first to say it. Moreover, as human nature is, the chances are that he will be praised for having said it (all the more if there is no other commentator for a hundred years). For his view will probably be a natural interpretation, or misinterpretation, of his subject, and for this reason, and also by the power of suggestion, others will, even more probably, say it after him. But he will always remain the 'discoverer'.