Assuming that you’re all acquainted with my peculiar infatuation with young, effeminate and excruciatingly gorgeous males, an aesthetic propensity I think I’ve previously expressed in my post about Oscar Wilde’s splendid lover, bawdy poet Bossie Douglas, my yet again developing a fascination for a historical pretty boy should not imply any trace of surprise on your behalf.

Allow me to repeat for better understanding: I have contracted, so to say, a great interest in the very foppish main character I bet you’ll also adore to this extent  if watching the really worth watching film “Stage Beauty”. In an age when, after the Greek inherited tradition, roles like Juliet’s or Desdemona’s had to be interpreted by adolescent lads (that is, until Margaret Hughes imposed herself in the domain during the Restoration), Edward Kynaston, my virtual crush, made the moast graceful lady, pretty talented and surprisingly flexible as he could play both a King and a Queen in the same act. Though this remarkable trait is omitted in the movie so to create a more intense drama, which doesn’t diminish its juiciness, Kynaston could fairly be considered an interesting person, not short of appeal and definitely not of theatrical aptitudes.

No wonder he was a high member of Rhode’s company at the Royal Cockpit, situated not far from the Whitehall Palace, thus very frequented by aristocrats. Edward’s portrayal of Shakespeare’s Henry IV brought him to join the King’s (Charles II) company.

His contemporaries, naval administrator Samuel Pepys and the actor-manager Colley Cibber prized Edward’s intriguing capacities, noting his most brilliant she-roles in renaissance productions as Ben Johnson’s “Epicoene” and John Fletcher’s “The Loyal Subject“, being clear that he was quite a sensational figure in 17th century London (he was born around 1640, commencing the acting career in his early 20’s ).

I find extraordinary the simultaneity with which he enacted characters of the two genders, like in the winter of 1660, when he filled the role of Otto in “Rollo Duke of Normandy” having played   Arthiope only the previous week. Such accurately managed shifts fascinate me; he must’ve possessed a huge imagination and a lot more psychological equilibrium to balance the characteristics of the two sexes inside him, pulling out the needed one at command, with awing credibility nonetheless.

Quotations of his coevals underline the strange ability, asserting that he had fabricated “a Complete Female Stage Beauty” who “performed his Parts so well, especially Arthiope and Aglaura” and “has since been Disputable among the Judicious, whether any Woman that succeeded him so sensibly touch’d the Audience as he” (Downes, “Roscius Anglicanus”).

He also finds appreciation in Pepys’ now notorious diary.

Saturday, 18 August, 1660     Captain Ferrers, my Lord’s Cornet, comes to us, who after dinner took me and Creed to the Cockpitt play, the first that I have had time to see since my coming from sea, “The Loyall Subject,” where one Kinaston, a boy, acted the Duke’s sister (Olympia), but made the loveliest lady that ever I saw in my life, only her voice not very good. After the play done, we three went to drink, and by Captain Ferrers’ means, Kinaston and another that acted Archas, the General, came and drank with us.

Monday, 7 January, 1660/61    Saw “The Silent Woman.” The first time that ever I did see it, and it is an excellent play. Among other things here, Kinaston, the boy; had the good turn to appear in three shapes: first, as a poor woman in ordinary clothes, to please Morose; then in fine clothes, as a gallant, and in them was clearly the prettiest woman in the whole house, and lastly, as a man; and then likewise did appear the handsomest man in the house. (between brackets, I would’ve judge this way too 😉 )

Monday, 1 February, 1668/9    We find no play there; Kinaston, that did act a part therein, in abuse to Sir Charles Sedley, being last night exceedingly beaten with sticks, by two or three that assaulted him, so as he is mightily bruised, and forced to keep his bed.  (part which appears in the movie too, making me flinch as I have horror of attractive persons venturing into fights that may cause them lose their natural pulchritude; it’s nothing sadder to me than being deprived of a particularity thus addictive)

Tuesday, 2 February, 1668/9   At the King’s playhouse,  “The Heyresse,” not- withstanding Kinaston’s being beaten, is acted; and they say the King is very angry with Sir Charles Sedley for his being beaten, but he do deny it.

Tuesday, 9 February, 1668/9   Saw “The Island Princess” which I like mighty well, as an excellent play: and here we find Kinaston to be well enough to act again, which he do very well, after his beating by Sir Charles Sedley’s appointment.

A part I have further enjoyed was his travesty carriage-trips with the “Ladies of Quality” who “prided themselves in offering him a ride through Hyde-Park” just to see with their own goggled eyes the testimony of his virility… by slipping a bold hand under his many skirts. Really an awkward scene but doubtlessly pleasurable for the naughty Kynaston boy.

He did have big on and off stage success.

Even I, the girl from the future, was charmed by his ambiguous personality.

What do you think about him?

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Vanity Fair

January 28, 2012

We cannot tear out a single page of our life, but we can throw the whole book in the fire!”- I’ve just fully tasted George Sand’s quote; I bear its stigmatizing prints all over my flesh like a perpetual, cruel and eternal remembrance which oblivion could least veil. Fortunately, through huge narcissistic efforts supported by certain invigorating pride, I’ve survived the temptation of “throwing the whole book in the fire” even after ripping not only a page but an entire chapter I had so minutely developed. It took that to reveal me why most people can’t break up, can’t escape the worst self-admitted bound, why humans can’t decide to welcome freedom again if searing in crippled, withering relationships.

They’d rather die imprisoned than pass the page for building another (the imposed fidelity and desperate affiliation taught by society have some faults here). I now deeply understand this masochistic behaviour as I felt its bittersweet flavour; I learned how vague you accept the flaws, the ultimate separation, how confusing, bizarre and shocking is to confront the blank space your torn page left or the empty happiness none will cover. Struggling, compromising, you had made -in your world, in your time- a metaphorical nest sacrificed for the torn page which, lacking, unleashed that aching spatial void I previously mentioned.

Houdini in chains

Thus you plunge in tormenting abysses, always fearing the possible sorrow, and, following one antique animal instinct, choose the familiar ruin-relationship instead of healing, still painfully ambiguous, liberty. It’s a studied path you may very fast indulge in.

the kiss

But all has alternatives: why shouldn’t I keep my integrity and let go the unhealthy intercourse? When I start acknowledging end’s arrival why shouldn’t I accept it properly? Not as a demission, nor as a cowardly retreat and definitely not without trying some amiable methods of conciliation -because none desires to be called a quitter-, avoid the perpetuation of sick tides held only for what they were. Never hang on such illusions: inexperienced, you’ll waste vain tears you’ll more often regret. Never turn back to beg forgiveness: you’ll get weaker and surrender to obsessive desires. Vacillating, you’ll get twisted in the vanity fair of ambiguity which equals a dangerous dance with the devil.

Best adopt the coldest dignity; allow the past to be past and you- part of the future.

Move with the world- humans have a prohibition to remaining stoned.

Tear out the page- you have plenty others ahead (if you’d only pacify with the concept proceeding from which you’ve earned the possibility of inaugurating fresh starts, fresh connections, fresh pages…).

absynth

Question yourself more about romantic (platonic?) expectations so you can check how well they’re touched by the relationship that momentary tortures you. These enquiries, sharply put, honestly answered, will guide any person to certain enlightenment in issues of love and hard choices- its trick accessibly lays in personal honesty and in developing a strong connection with your inner bean (without which you would fall from mistake to mistake, gathering the experience you had avoided). Therefore, the skeleton of breaking ups is basically simple, obvious and at hand for the willing, yet successfully hidden inside the self-knowledge few practice because a contagious blindness. Mind-training frequently, you’ll activate it, point after you’ll be wise enough to deal with mature questions.

Complications (the malicious ramifications of the main core) represent the real trouble- they’re the “ever-fixed mark”, the uncertainty you’ll encounter over and over for as long as you live, no matter how you try to mummify the simplicity of parting. Fake hopes, hesitations, the scarcely guessed psychological component of your partner…no wonder “we cannot tear out a single page of our life, but we can throw the whole book in the fire”! Sometimes, the single possibility freezes your mind. And, sometimes, no advice, no theory, no self- knowledge may help but just ameliorate the downfall.

girl with a pearl earing

Still, bruised, ruffled, you’ll outlive it with the gift of moving on, rejecting the grave in which the ill relationship throws us every time.

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