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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

More comfort food for writers:

Hah! I found it! I knew I would. Hey, tanaise, look here--

Sonnet 76

Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation of quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods, and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?
O know, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument.
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent.
For as the sun is daily new and old
So is my love still telling what is told.

--William Shakespeare


"Why does eveything I write always sound like meeeeee???"

Kind of nice to know that all writers are neurotic, isn't it? A special no-prize to anybody who can spot the sexual innuendo in the above lines.

When I run out of Shakespeare, I'm moving to Conrad, just so you know. The excerpts from his letters ought to keep us in writerly insecurity until the heat-death of the universe.

This bit: Why with the time do I not glance aside / To new-found methods, and to compounds strange? by the way, is the enjambed (meaning it runs over from one line to the next, instead of stopping tidily at ten syllables, sing-song, doggerel) iambic line that was Marlowe's innovation in theatrical blank verse, and which Shakespeare raised to the status of black magic.

And which later gave us such luminaries as Edna St. Vincent Millay (neurotic), Robert Frost (refreshingly sane and down to earth), and W.B.Yeats (even more neurotic, and usually pissed off at Aleister Crowley. Yes, that Aleister Crowley. Who said literature wasn't fun?).

Not necessarily in that order.

And thus, as I am wont to say, the folk process. Or to misquote: "Good artists are influenced. Great artists steal."

By the way, truepenny, danke schön for the tip on the Stephen Booth edition of the sonnets. His snarky comments in the end note alone are worth the price of admit.

In other words, I love In Search Of Shakespeare. I love Elizabeth's London. Did I mention they have MAPS?

Comments

You're welcome. It's nice to have proselytizing be appreciated. :)

Define mentioning embroidery?

I know the difference between blackwork, whitework, and cuttework, if it's any consolation, but I never turn down an expert opinion on *anything*. Not that I think there's any real discussion of details of embroidery beyond the odd mention of it on clothing and in decorative details, most of which I'm lifting from historical sources. (Item: Queen Elizabeth's barge shade of translucent green silk, wrought with eglantine and spotted with golden blossoms). It's low fantasy, so I don't have to worry too much about upper-class clothing and housing details. Thank God.

So yes, any input is very welcome.

Although I do have an acquaintance who has written a wonderful, deeply-researched fantasy novel that centers almost entirely on embroidery and tapestry weaving (I think her period is closer to 1100, however). If only she were on livejournal, I would hook you two up.

Re: Define mentioning embroidery?

See, I don't think those are nitpicky errors at all, but rather fairly major errors. Especially if the whole plot hangs on them.

I'm currently realizing with annoyance that I have a lot of research to do on Elizabethan carriages. Although I was pleased that I remembered that Suffolk Punch was in fact extant in the 16th century--most modern heavy horse breeds were not.

Re: Define mentioning embroidery?

The Chronicles have been an absolute godsend to me. They're twenty years out of date by the time I'm writing, which means that a lot of details are anachronistic: Elizabethan England was a time of rapid social change. But I'm using the old SCA cheat that it's okay to be anachronistic backwards a few years. *g*

Re: Define mentioning embroidery?

Hah! Just don't ask me what I'm going to do about curfews.

Those are going to be a serious issue. Hmm. Maybe I can handwave. *handwave handwave*

Re: Define mentioning embroidery?

Nah, but I did find a primary source mention of the Lord Mayor complaining about hansom coaches littering London as early as 1600, so I suspect I'm safe having them in common usage 5 years earlier.

That's the problem with historical fiction: you have to research *everything*. Pain in the ass.

Re: Define mentioning embroidery?

"Hackney" coaches--sorry. My error in casual transcription without actually looking at the cite. From a direct quote in Humpherus (1859) to a writ from the then Lord Mayor (1600) banning private theatrical performances in homes, because of traffic congestion.

Okay, not technically a primary source, but a direct quote from one. I'm not actually a research geek: I find all this stuff incredibly boooring. but I also believe it's a writer's duty not to fuck things up if at all possible.

Re: Define mentioning embroidery?

If you're still interested, by the way, when I'm done with this monster if you'd like to correct my costuming I would be extremely grateful.

Re: Define mentioning embroidery?

YAY!

Ew.

lalalalalalalalaaaaa

I can't HEAR you! (God, I hate that movie.)

Actually, I was looking at the pun on "spend," leading back to the image of poem-as-child.

Re: Ew.

You want the list?

Mostly, I hate it because that's not Will. And that's *definitely* not Kit. I dunno who the hell that guy is, but Kit Marlowe, it isn't. Neither is that Phillip Henslowe, Richard Burbage, or--

--um. I better not get started.

Also, I have an incredibly low tolerance for romantic comedies.

And no. Actually, I think the Elizabethans probably had the most sex-obsessed culture in the history of the world. *g* If you think Will's bad, check out some of Nashe and Marlowe's work.

Re: Ew.


Nashe has one poem that's cheerfully nicknamed "Nashe's Dildo."

I linked it a few weeks back. Hang on, lemme google...

Ah, here it is:

http://members.tripod.com/sicttasd/choise.html

And here's some of the smuttier bits from Kit's unBowdlerized English translation of Ovid (The first one, as I understand it, to keep the dirty bits. Burned in 1599 as unsuitable reading! whoot!)

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.03.0016&query=poem%3D%234&layout=&loc=1.3.1

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.03.0016&query=poem%3D%235&layout=&loc=1.4.1

Oh, damn. I knew it was the spending line.
*hands over the no-prize.*

The bad news is, it's just what it sounds like and it's not redeemable for cash.