Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rethinking the Sonnets: Ros Barber's Groundbreaking Article on Marlovian Perspective Now Available

Click here to read the first article exploring a "Marlovian" perspective on Shakespeare's Sonnets to be published in a peer-reviewed history journal: Rethinking History (June 2010). Ros Barber's "Exploring Biographical Fictions: the Role of Imagination in Writing and Reading Narrative" is now free to read on open access.


Anonymous said...

Well argued, well written.
The sonnets may well be key, conducive in applying Marlovian Theory.
Finding proof, documentary proof, of Marlowe's survival is vital. It must exist, somewhere, if he lived on.
In the absence of the latter, then yes, 'belief' fills that aching hole and creates a 'reality' for Marlovians which is both tantalising and tragic, as the sonnets illustrate.
Very enjoyable piece for all those with an open mind.

Rado Klose said...

Hi Ros
thank you for this scholarly overview of the way in which histories are composed. It is fascinating to observe the mental knots that get tied in trying to link any of the sonnets to the life that William Shakespeare seems, from the evidence, to have lead. The contortions that have to be gone through because none of the sonnets can possibly mean in a straightforward way what they seem to mean.
An illustration from life . I have a friend who is a distinguished widely exhibited painter. He is also an extraordinary cultural polymath. He is unshakeable in his commitment to W.S. as the author of the works. A while back he collaborated on a volume with a poet(of international importance) producing exquisite woodblock images to counterpoint the words. In one of the poems the writer talks of running over a badger in the dark. Dragging it into a ditch feeling the grittiness of its paws. I think one can be certain that there was a real Badger with actual paws, that it was not poetic hyperventilation in response to seeing a dead mouse for example. Yet poetic hyperventilation would be his best explanation for the emotional depths of the sonnets, conventional sonneteering in other words.
Anyway, to another point concerning taking the poets words as written.
Sonnet 112 has a famously ugly last line, not only that, it scarcely makes proper sense. Later editors have seen fit to make changes to suit whatever view they might take. How extraordinary and intellectually scurrilous. The only person who would have seen anything like an authorial manuscript would have been Thorpe.The line has to be taken as he printed it. To see an analysis of the poem that produces, from within the text, the last line that anyone with half an ear knows to be the right one go to