“When we consider the significance, the originality and power of his work … when we think of the inspiration as yet not fulfilled, the force that was in him to carry him forward, we may conclude that this was the greatest individual loss our literature has ever suffered.” – A.L. Rowse, from CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE
Whose voice we hear has as much to do with our own inner receptors as what the voice speaks: it’s as mysterious a process as friendship, which it much resembles, this meeting of writer and reader. Christopher Marlowe’s work spoke to Anthony Burgess, whose A DEAD MAN IN DEPTFORD I read – was ravished by – and then turned to the source, a turning that deepens, again and again, as friendship does, as I read and reread his work.
Adapting the FAUSTUS text for nerve‘s immersive performance (with Steve Xander Carson, seen here in the title role) was a different way to hear Marlowe’s voice. Always his heroes begin at the top of their arc: always the brutal, lyrical, self-observed descent. He knew what it was to fall.
Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight: but the voice remains. He was 29. His work is immortal.
Then though death rakes my bones in funeral fire
I’ll live, and as he pulls me down, mount higher.
[from Christopher Marlowe's translation of Ovid]