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On Tumblr, someone was talking about how Shakespeare and Marlowe certainly knew each other. They belonged to the same small community of what we now call 'Theater people.' They had the same friends, the same troubles, they lived in the same section of a much smaller than now city.

This person said we have not (yet) found a scrawl saying: 'Will and Kit woz 'ere, '92.'

But oh-- wouldn't that be something?

We do have a Tom and Kit woz 'ere-- so to speak. The records kept by Tom Kyd's torturers. He says that he and Marlowe lived and wrote together for two years, so closely that their discarded papers collected on the floor together, jumbled each to each.

The rest is implied, the laughter, the bickering, the food and the rent and all.

We don't know anything about Tom Kyd's sex life. He wrote about desire for women. So did Marlowe. Marlowe wrote about desire for men too of course. Kyd's extant writings do not, but probably most of his writing is missing. I find it hard to believe that The Spanish Tragedy was the first thing he wrote. He would have had to be a sort of JK Rowling if so. The Spanish Tragedy was that popular. Most writers don't zoom up out of nowhere like that.

Kyd said that he was appalled by Marlowe's words and behavior. But he said it under torture, and he said much of it after Marlowe was already dead. Kyd never really recovered from the destruction to his own life. He died within the following year.

I just feel so sad when I think of them sometimes. They flashed across the sky. Shakespeare kept on, I picture him keeping his head down, writing, buying land, suing people, having kids. He was a steady guy, he wanted to write, and have a beer at the end of the day, and not get the plague, or get tortured. He certainly could see what not to do, it was all around him.

So, I am thinking about all of this. Sometimes I think that writing about the long dead is the best of both worlds. You can make stuff up, but you don't have to make everything up. You get to do research which is pure fun I find.

Writing fan-fic is a great way to ease into historical fic. At the same time, i feel an obligation not to warp them out of true. I hope I am understanding enough, and stringent enough to do the best I can.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
charliecochrane
Sep. 4th, 2013 07:50 am (UTC)
I think you care, which is 90% of the battle won. They're "your boys" and you tend their memory. If that makes any sense.
eglantine_br
Sep. 4th, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC)
It does make sense. Especially sense coming from you. The tending of memory is a you-thing.

We can fall in love, it seems with the long dead, and the fictional, as well as the here now.

I am in the beginning of the middle of the Marlowe thing now. And it is sagging like an old rope hammock. I just need to keep going through the saggy parts. Tighten it up and wash it clean later.
charliecochrane
Sep. 4th, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, tighten later. Otherwise you'll get bogged down and never finish it.
nodbear
Sep. 5th, 2013 12:12 pm (UTC)
we find that navyboys can sag in our context too but having been left till later rather than too picked over things usually become clearer
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )