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The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups

by Ron Rosenbaum

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277540,824 (3.72)7
  1. 00
    Shakespeare's Beehive: An Annotated Elizabethan Dictionary Comes to Light by George Koppelman (souci)
    souci: To the interpretation of Shakespeare as a writer, and his methods
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Showing 5 of 5
I read more than half of this book which pretty much counts as reading the whole thing...A little (a lot) repetitive. ( )
  RubyA | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is pretty challenging for a general market book, not to say it's inaccessible, but just that it requires some concentration. It explains issues surrounding different editions very well. I like that it comes at the controversies by showing the advocates of various positions. ( )
  betweencovers | Mar 26, 2008 |
Fascinating! Although the book leaves me with more questions than answers. I may need to read Lear again. ( )
  akritz | Jul 17, 2007 |
I admit I didn't finish it, but I liked it and found it helpful. Maybe I didn't pay attention in English class like I should have, and this helped me understand "what's so freaking special" about Shakespeare. I never really understood what the fuss was about, and I'm still not the biggest Shakespeare fan, but I have a better understanding of it now.
  carmilla222 | May 3, 2007 |
This is not an easy book to read. It seems as if pages are magically being inserted as you are reading. But I found it very useful in narrowing down the directions and people to look out in doing research for my project. I could have read 20 books to get what's contained in this one.

If you are looking for information on the various textual aruguments going on about Shakespeare's plays, this is the book for you. It is a well made book printed on very good paper, and although well written, it is dense and I find I must read other things to give that part of my brain a break. I'm currently researching the Sonnets and sonnet scholars and how they think. I haven't found and direct infromation in this, but I have found it enlightening and helpful in tracking down other sources. I still have high hopes for it. Long chapters. ( )
  Cynfrank | Jan 4, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375503390, Hardcover)

“[Ron Rosenbaum] is one of the most original journalists and writers of our time.”
–David Remnick

In The Shakespeare Wars, Ron Rosenbaum gives readers an unforgettable way of rethinking the greatest works of the human imagination. As he did in his groundbreaking Explaining Hitler, he shakes up much that we thought we understood about a vital subject and renews our sense of excitement and urgency. He gives us a Shakespeare book like no other. Rather than raking over worn-out fragments of biography, Rosenbaum focuses on cutting-edge controversies about the true source of Shakespeare’s enchantment and illumination–the astonishing language itself. How best to unlock the secrets of its spell?

With quicksilver wit and provocative insight, Rosenbaum takes readers into the midst of fierce battles among the most brilliant Shakespearean scholars and directors over just how to delve deeper into the Shakespearean experience–deeper into the mind of Shakespeare.

Was Shakespeare the one-draft wonder of Shakespeare in Love? Or was he rather–as an embattled faction of textual scholars now argues–a different kind of writer entirely: a conscientious reviser of his greatest plays? Must we then revise our way of reading, staging, and interpreting such works as Hamlet and King Lear?

Rosenbaum pursues key partisans in these debates from the high tables of Oxford to a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop in a strip mall in the Deep South. He makes ostensibly arcane textual scholarship intensely seductive–and sometimes even explicitly sexual. At an academic “Pleasure Seminar” in Bermuda, for instance, he examines one scholar’s quest to find an orgasm in Romeo and Juliet. Rosenbaum shows us great directors as Shakespearean scholars in their own right: We hear Peter Brook–perhaps the most influential Shakespearean director of the past century–disclose his quest for a “secret play” hidden within the Bard’s comedies and dramas. We listen to Sir Peter Hall, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, as he launches into an impassioned, table-pounding fury while discussing how the means of unleashing the full intensity of Shakespeare’s language has been lost–and how to restore it. Rosenbaum’s hilarious inside account of “the Great Shakespeare ‘Funeral Elegy’ Fiasco,” a man-versus-computer clash, illustrates the iconic struggle to define what is and isn’t “Shakespearean.” And he demonstrates the way Shakespearean scholars such as Harold Bloom can become great Shakespearean characters in their own right.

The Shakespeare Wars offers a thrilling opportunity to engage with Shakespeare’s work at its deepest levels. Like Explaining Hitler, this book is destined to revolutionize the way we think about one of the overwhelming obsessions of our time.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Cultural historian Rosenbaum gives readers a way of rethinking the greatest works of the human imagination, as he shakes up much that we thought we understood about a vital subject and renews our sense of excitement and urgency. Rather than raking over worn-out fragments of biography, Rosenbaum focuses on cutting-edge controversies about the true source of Shakespeare's enchantment and illumination--the astonishing language itself. He takes readers into the midst of fierce battles among the most brilliant Shakespearean scholars and directors over just how to delve deeper into the mind of Shakespeare. He makes ostensibly arcane textual scholarship seductive, and he shows us great directors as Shakespearean scholars in their own right. This book offers a thrilling opportunity to engage with Shakespeare's work at its deepest levels.--From publisher description.… (more)

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