'Writing historical fiction: Consulting the Ouiji Board and the Act of Raising the Dead.'
History fails time and again. Records disappear, ancient libraries burn, artifacts degrade and crumble. As a result, the vital questions we pose in our attempts to surmount the barriers raised by the passage of centuries go unanswered. Yet, what archaeology cannot do on its own may yet be achieved through research-based creativity. Historical fiction is an exercise that is part leg work, part desk work, part séance.
In this presentation Professor Clem Martini will discuss the conjuring required to summon the ancient comedian, Plautus, to the page for his historical novel, The Comedian. The writings of Titus Maccius Plautus are the earliest Latin Literary works to have survived in their entirety, so he is a historically significant figure, and his plays continue to influence how comedy is expressed today.
Clem Martini is an award-winning playwright, novelist, and screenwriter with over thirty plays, and twelve books of fiction and nonfiction to his credit, including the W.O. Mitchell Award-winning Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness, the recently launched The Unravelling, and The Comedian. His texts on playwriting, The Blunt Playwright, The Greek Playwright, and The Ancient Comedians are employed widely at universities and colleges across the continent. He currently teaches in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary.
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