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Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive” plays with the Shakespeare authorship

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Here’s an early review of the latest Jim Jarmusch film (‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ | Under the Gun Review) which is of special interest to all anti-Stratfordians because right in the middle of the film British actor John Hurt turns up playing Christopher Marlowe, who goes off about “Who wrote Shakespeare” question and ends up calling the Stratford man an “illiterate swine.” We first heard about this last summer, when during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival (while the film was in production) this moment in the film was discussed, and both Jarmush and Hurt weighed in with their thoughts. Here (below) is a clip of the press conference, from YouTube (with the Shakespeare authorship exchanges running from 3:50 to 6:20). John Hurt is asked about his role in the film (he plays Marlowe) and he goes straight into how much Jim Jarmusch believes that Christopher Marlowe wrote Shakespeare. The discussion goes on for several moments, with Jarmusch enthusiastically expounding on the issue while Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston look on with goofy grins. It concludes with Hurt also expressing his anti-Stratfordian views and informing Jarmusch that Sir John Gielgud should also be counted as an anti-Strat who — in the end — was an Oxfordian. The interviewer finally jumps in to get things back on track.

From the movie review:

A veritable auteur of indie cinema, Jim Jarmusch has oft been described as a filmmaker ahead of his time. His latest picture however, the gorgeous Only Lovers Left Alive, feels more like a relic from a treasured past. Its depiction of supernatural companionship harks back to a time when such stories were rarities and not mass marketed products for young adult audiences.

The high point of the entire thing may be John Hurt popping up as Christopher Marlowe – an acquaintance of Eve’s in Tangier, fully embracing the conspiracy theories about Shakespeare’s authorship and dismissing him (fantastically) as an illiterate swine.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Did Christopher Marlowe Fake His Death? | Ros Barber

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BBC News – The Marlowe Papers wins Desmond Elliott Prize

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    • Ros Barber’s The Marlowe Papers, a novel written entirely in verse, has won the annual Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction.

      The book explores the intrigue around the death of Christopher Marlowe and the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays.

      Joanne Harris, the chair of judges, described the novel as a “unique historical conspiracy story”.

      The £10,000 prize is named after the distinguished publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott who died in 2003.

    • “The Marlowe Papers is technically accomplished and hugely impressive in both style and scope, enhanced by being written in verse, it is certainly an ambitious undertaking for a new novelist – I cannot wait to read Barber’s next book.”
    • US-born Barber was inspired to write her debut novel while watching a Channel 4 documentary in which Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate dismissed the theory that playwright Marlowe was the true author of the works of Shakespeare as the stuff of fiction.
    • She is the author of three volumes of poetry and she was recently appointed associate of the Shakespearian Authorship Trust – a charity which aims “to seek, and if possible establish, the truth concerning the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays and poems”.

      The authorship debate was in the spotlight in 2011 when Roland Emmerich’s film, Anonymous, portrayed Shakespeare (played by Rafe Spall) as an inarticulate buffoon.

      Rhys Ifans played Edward de Vere – the 17th Earl of Oxford – who was credited as the true genius behind the words of the Bard.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

A Marlovian Review of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt

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    • "Three weeks ago, the second book on the authorship question to be published by an academic press was published to considerable media attention.  The title of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt succinctly states the book’s aims: to settle the authorship question once and for all.  That it cannot do so is clear from the fact that the book – entirely in contravention of accepted scholarly practice – fails to address (or even mention, except buried in an "additional reading" list on page 247) the first academically published book on the subject, Diana Price’s Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography (2001).

    • "This book rehashes the methods employed by James Shapiro in Contested Will (2010): analyse the psychology (or pathology) of early doubters, offer "evidence" that no-one disputes and claim it supports Shakespeare-of-Stratford’s authorship, ignore scholarship from the last fifty years, and avoid Price’s research.  Non-Stratfordians conversant with the evidence and arguments supporting Shakespeare scepticism will have no problem dismantling Shakespeare Beyond Doubt."

    • "Unlike Shapiro’s Contested Will, however, the book does make space for Marlowe as a major candidate: an indication, perhaps, of Marlovian progress in the last three years."

    • "Having dealt at some length with the version of Marlovian theory espoused by Calvin Hoffman’s [The Murder Of] The Man Who Was Shakespeare (1955), Nicholl claims that "There have been various further explorations and refinements of his theory, but no great changes or new directions." This is simply untrue, and as an attempt to dismiss nearly sixty years of more recent research, disingenuous.  Other than agreeing with the theory that Marlowe’s death was faked and that he survived to write much of what is attributed to Shakespeare, modern Marlovian arguments contain very little of Hoffman’s material."

    • "Thus it is clear that despite the generally improved tone of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt, the defenders of the orthodoxy continue to hold the line that authorship questioners are morally or logically deficient, and the question itself invalid.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Ros Barber responds to Shakespeare Beyond Doubt

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    • “If the distinguished contributors to Shakespeare Beyond Doubt hope their book will place the traditional author of Shakespeare’s canon where the title claims, they are likely to be disappointed. In the hands of twenty-one orthodox Shakespeare scholars, the case for William Shakespeare of Stratford sounds plausible enough, and will reassure the already convinced as well as those who would like to be.”
    • “In many ways the book is a reprise of James Shapiro’s Contested Will, side-stepping recent scholarly work on the authorship question to focus on examining the ‘pathology’ and psychology of Shakespeare sceptics.”
    • “Though the belated entry of orthodox academics into this 156-year-old controversy is a welcome development, there are two major problems with Shakespeare Beyond Doubt. One is a blatant attempt to win the debate through semantics.”
    • “Throughout the book, the editors Stanley Wells and Paul Edmondson decree that those who don’t agree with them be described not with the well-established term ‘anti-Stratfordian’, but with the hackle-raising ‘anti-Shakespearian’. Their justification is that ‘to deny Shakespeare of Stratford’s connection to the work attributed to him is to deny the essence of, in part, what made that work possible … Shakespeare was formed by both Stratford-upon-Avon and London.’ Yet the contested connection between Shakespeare of Stratford and the work attributed to him *is* the authorship question.”
    • “But the most significant failing of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt is that it attempts to support the orthodox position using evidence the sceptics do not contest – that there was an author widely known as ‘William Shakespeare’ – while failing to address recent scholarship”
    • “Throughout the volume, and despite significant developments in non-Stratfordian research in the last fifteen years, only arguments advanced prior to 1960 are acknowledged.”
    • Paul Edmondson claims that those he perceives as his ‘antagonists’ ignore evidence, yet himself presides over a volume of essays that demolishes straw men while skilfully eliding the more challenging work of contemporary researchers

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The Marlowe Papers

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    • ROS BARBER’S remarkable book about Christopher Marlowe is many things. It is a historic novel, an interesting if contentious theory and a mystery.

      It is also a collection of poems, many of which, when dipped into, stand up perfectly well by themselves, quite independently of the story which they tell. The entire book is written in blank verse; non-rhyming iambic pentameter.

    • Marlowe, her subject, is a poet and playwright who is possessed of a doomed rock star glamour straight from Central Casting. He is an elizabethan Jim Morrison of sorts.
    • The tantalising thing about Christopher Marlowe is that there is enough evidence to suggest that he might have been a contender for the authorship of Shakespeare’s work yet not quite enough to confirm that he definitely was. Whether, however, the Bard did or did not write those works credited to him has been debated inconclusively.
    • Not least in the book, however, is Ros Barber’s poetry. In Burying The Moor she writes: An April night. A distant bell tolled ten. The cobbles glittered recent rain; the elms fringing the church shook drips from newborn leaves.Chilled moonlight traced a figure at the gate that turned out to be you.

      This is effortlessly better stuff than many far more trumpeted poets can produce, even on a good day.

    • For me, The Marlowe Papers is the best read, so far, this year.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The Beard of Avon: The other Richard III: The True Tragedy of Richard III

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    • In June 1594 a new play was placed on the Stationers’ Register: The True Tragedy of Richard III. It was published anonymously and endorsed: As it was played by the Queen’s Majesty’s Players.
    • The play was not printed again until 1821 or studied in any depth until 1900, but since then there has been much speculation as to the relationship between this play and Shakespeare’s Richard III. (for convenience we’ll distinguish between the two plays by calling them the True Tragedy and Richard III)
      The major theories have been:
      a)      The True Tragedy is a memorial reconstruction i.e. bad quarto of Richard III.
      b)      This version of the True Tragedy is a bad quarto of the real True Tragedy.
      c)      The True Tragedy is the source of Richard III
      d)      The True Tragedy is Shakespeare’s own earlier version of Richard III
    • As you can see while the True Tragedy covers the same ground as Richard III there are some major differences in the treatment, such as:
        • While Richard III dramatises the death of George, Duke of Clarence True Tragedy starts after his death which is retold in an elaborate prologue.
        • While in the prologue Truth describes Richard as ‘A man ill shaped, crooked backed, lame armed’, unlike Richard III, nothing more is said during the course of the play about his deformities.
        • In True Tragedy Edward IV dies peacefully in his bed while in Richard III he dies after an angry outburst.
        • True Tragedy has two major sequences that do not feature in Richard III, namely the fate of Mistress Shore and the scenes in which the young Prince Edward is taken from his uncles.
        • Richard’s relationship with Buckingham and Hastings is very different. In True Tragedy Buckingham is an erstwhile enemy and Hastings is his ally while in Richard III Buckingham is Richard’s long trusted ally and Hastings is his main opposition.
        • In Richard III Hastings is accused of sorcery and ordered executed during a council meeting then dragged away never to be seen again. In the True Tragedy we are told briefly about the meeting and we see Hastings after he is dragged out of it.
        • In the True Tragedy Richard’s confidant is his Page who does not feature in this capacity in Richard III.
        • In Richard III we see the scene in which Richard is offered the crown by the London Aldermen while in True Tragedy it is described by the Page although possibly seen in dumb show.
        • The Princess Elizabeth and Mistress Shore are on stage in True Tragedy but only referred to in Richard III.
        • Lady Anne, the dowager Duchess of York and Queen Margaret do not appear in True Tragedy.
        • True Tragedy has a long epilogue recounting the history of the House of Tudor which has no parallel in Richard III.
    • As we can see, therefore, there is a relationship between the True Tragedy and Richard III, but its nature may not be as the critics have argued. It is obvious that the author of Richard III was not only aware of the True Tragedy but knew it well. However, in a culture where memory was still an important part of the education system, it need not have taken more that a couple of viewings of the True Tragedy for the author to assimilate from it the elements that have gone into Richard III.
      However, the author of Richard III was obviously not trying to produce a carbon copy of the True Tragedy. Many of the elements retained from True Tragedy were retained for good dramatic reasons and sometimes made better use of. For example, while in the Chronicles, Richard is absent from Edward’s deathbed, in both plays he is present. However, while little is made of this in True Tragedy, in Richard III it is used as an occasion for Richard to make mischief and even indirectly bring about the King’s death.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.