All items: Christopher Marlowe

Cynthia Rogerson contemplates the literary spurs of exile and outsiderhood, wonders whether she would have written any novels if she’d simply stayed at home in the USA, and explains why being a writer is easier in Scotland than in California.

Brian McAvera considers what we’ve lost in favouring naturalistic, TV-esque theatre over the wider and deeper possibilities offered by non-naturalism.

From our heartbeats to our breathing, to the feel of walking or running, we are programmed to respond to rhythm. No wonder we react so viscerally to the rhythm of words. Bill Kirton says rhythm is as important to prose as to poetry, as well as to songs of protest and football chanting. It may not be in our bones, but it’s a basic aspect of how we survive.
400 years before Burgess, Philby and Maclean, spies recruited from Cambridge were employed as 'intelligencers' to smoke out Jesuit priests inveigling for a return to Catholicism in Elizabethan England — John Pilkington's fictional hero Marbeck among them. But in delving into this brutal age of faith and torture, Pilkington's admiration for the Jesuits grew, leading him to question the very nature of belief.