what I’m reading
August 21, 2010
What I’ve been reading: I’ve finished the Warriors anthology after working steadily through it all summer. Some really great stuff in there, and I’m not just saying that because I’m in it. I just read Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker, and China Mieville’s The City and the City, which is the first of his I’ve ever finished, and I loved it.
Right now I’ve got two books about Elizabethan theater, particularly centered on the actor Edward Alleyn, and they’re frustrating me. One of them has a lot of great data points but is written in this haphazard, disconnected manner. A chapter will be called “Actors and Audiences,” but half of it will be about church officials complaining that people go to more plays than church services. The other book is bizarrely incoherent and repetitive, spending pages and pages on close readings of Christopher Marlowe’s plays and throwing out impassioned defenses of the author’s own pet theories, claiming they’re “obvious” and yet I’ve never seen such arguments made anywhere else, ever. (Like claiming that Greene’s “upstart crow” jab, generally agreed to be about Shakespeare, was actually referring to Edward Alleyn. Huh?)
All I’m really trying to do is find out more about Alleyn. The perils of research. . . .
(And who is Edward Alleyn, you may ask? He’s the guy Ben Affleck played in Shakespeare in Love. And I have plans for him, oh yes I do.)