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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san


Finished the Burgess book. Rather good, although I think he's missed some social/sexual/anthropological niceties and is sticking a little too close to Charles Nicholl's theories to really turn new ground. Put his characters and the world he moves them through are really compelling.

On to his Shakespeare next, and then sonnets and more sonnets. By which time I should have my hot little hands on the books from the UK. And there's still the book on the Renaissance family to consume.

I am really enjoying the plunge-back-into-Academia aspect of this: somewhere about halfway through Homosexuality in Renaissance England (take that as you may) I realized with some great glee that I haven't had this kind of reading-with-the-green-pen-in-hand-brain-engaged-fun since 1993 or so. (1993 is when I fled the University of Connecticut with my tail between my legs.)

I keep thinking I'd like to take some classes. But not at UNLV. And not really with a degree in mind, either. But I really miss the heavy-duty brainstuffing and the intellectual arguments.

Hmm. 'Course, I can get a lot of that hanging out with writers.


That whole meaty reading with pen in hand is kind of fun :) So is telling people on the T I'm reading these strange books for research. I'd have to agree, that's the good part of academia. I didn't get it enough in undergrad, but when my lit classes got going...it was fun, in a bizarre, twisted writerly way :)

Isn't it good?

Ah, I admit it. The research is making me happy. Given how much I was dreading it, how sick is that?

Re: Isn't it good?

It is good :) It's so satisfying when you find that one piece of information that clicks, or that gives you the right setting/characterization/what have you detail. And I feel so accomplished when I finally track something down I've been hunting for! :P And it makes me laugh that you're now enjoying it...I can totally relate. Sometimes it's just getting over that "I'm facing a mountain" feeling and digging into the research, once I'm over that, it's kind of exciting.
Man, I'm a dork :)
But I really miss the heavy-duty brainstuffing and the intellectual arguments.

Intellectual arguments can totally be had. They can even be about Renaissance playwrights. :)

Renaissance playwrights:

Well, I will admit that I learn a heck of a lot hanging around you....

Re: Renaissance playwrights:

Hey, someone ought to be getting some good out of all this education.
Hi. I just discovered your journal by seeing your (Marlowe) userpic in one of papersky's posts.

If you're interested in the subject matter of Bray's book, then do not pass go, but find a copy of King James and the History of Homosexuality. It's a more recent and richer book and debunks many of Bray's hypotheses. It's also a great deal of fun with ancient court gossip and 400 year old gay jokes/insults. I cannot recommend that book more highly. [Sex in Elizabethan England is written very convolutedly and presumes a pre-existing knowledge of courtier names and court politics]

Regarding Marlowe: Unfortunately, I found Burgess' writing too... overly-stylized to get into, but if you like books on Marlowe, I can recommend several for you. [non-fiction, Christopher Marlowe: A Renaissance Life is very good -- especially at painting a portrait of what university was like -- but she takes a dismissive view of most conspiracy theories. I also like this chapter by Downie. fiction, my favorite remains Armor of Light, but I've even seen a series in which Kit survived to modern England as a vampire...]

I could babble on, but I'll stop for now before I make (even more of) a fool of myself .


--is an amazingly interesting guy. I've been fascinated by both he and Shakespeare for a long time, and the relationship between their work.

You really can't have one without the other. Thankfully, I've about completed my Marlowe research (several thousand pages of reading and a wild hunt for the text of primary documents later) although that chapter looks very interesting.

My book only covers about two years of the reign of King James, and he's barely in there enough to be a minor character. (A good thing, because I find him rather an idiot. *g*)

I actually don't entirely agree with either Bray or Burgess on the Renaissance view of homosexuality, having rather developed my own ideas (mostly from primary texts)--And Bray and Burgess are about as diametrically opposed as you can get.

I try to avoid reading fiction set in any mileau in which I'm working, to avoid any unconscious influence, but I may look up Armor of Light at some point. (The Burgess book got a pass because it's really a lightly fictionalized speculative biography, rather than a work of pure fiction.)

It's a pleasure to meet you! I take it you're a ren-drama fan as well?

Re: Kit--

D'oh... once I read further that you're actually writing a novel on the characters, of course you wouldn't want to read other fictional interpretations.

I take it you're a ren-drama fan as well?
Actually, I started reading about Elizabethan England to prep for a role-playing game set in the period.
I was captivated by the Marlowe's character, though, and keep coming back to him. I got into his writings out of fascination with who he was, rather than the other way around.

I'm really excited to hear about a new story about Kit & Will. I assume you've already posted about what it's about and when it's due, but count me as very interested.

Re: Kit--

*g* I'm calling it "Will & Kit's Excellent Adventure" in my head. The book is titled The Stratford Man, and it's a spy thriller/historical fantasy/buddy flic. Starring the obvious culprits....

I'm writing it on spec, however, so whether I sell it or not is still very much up in the air.