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TOPIC: Recommendations

Recommendations 8 years 6 months ago #1906

  • wayneford
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Hello people,
What do you people have to say about this books. I'm inclined to order some of it and have read good reviews about it.
- The Shakespeare Wars, by Ron Rosenbaum;
- Shakespeare's Language, by Frank Kermode;
- Essential Shakespeare, by Ted Hughes;
- Shakespeare's Imagery and What it Tells Us, by Caroline Spurgeon.
- The Meaning of Shakespeare, by Harold Goddard;
- Shakespeare Our Contemporary, by Jan Kott.
Thanks.
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Recommendations 8 years 6 months ago #1907

  • William Shakespeare
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The only one of the lot I own is Shakespeare's Imagery and What it Tells Us and it's a great book.
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Recommendations 8 years 6 months ago #1909

  • Tue Sorensen
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I have Kermode's "Shakespeare's Language" - it's worthwhile, but a little bit dry. Not one of my favorite Shakespeare books.

I do recommend Harold Bloom's "Shakespeare - The Invention of the Human", which is a good read, although there are many things in it I personally disagree with.
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Recommendations 8 years 6 months ago #1912

  • akfarrar
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Dump the lot - Start with Greer's Short Introduction to Shakespeare
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Recommendations 8 years 6 months ago #1913

  • wayneford
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sorensonian wrote:
I have Kermode's "Shakespeare's Language" - it's worthwhile, but a little bit dry. Not one of my favorite Shakespeare books.

I do recommend Harold Bloom's "Shakespeare - The Invention of the Human", which is a good read, although there are many things in it I personally disagree with.

I own "Shakespeare - The Invention of the Human" and I think it's a great one, though I too disagree with much of what he writes. But that's one of the things I appreciate in books like this: the passionate writing about Shakespeare, how his work affects someone intimately, the impressions it leaves on our lives.
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Recommendations 8 years 6 months ago #1914

  • wayneford
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akfarrar wrote:
Dump the lot - Start with Greer's Short Introduction to Shakespeare

I've heard about Greer, but not this book. Why would you recommend it?
Thanks.
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Recommendations 8 years 6 months ago #1915

  • akfarrar
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wayneford wrote:
akfarrar wrote:
Dump the lot - Start with Greer's Short Introduction to Shakespeare

I've heard about Greer, but not this book. Why would you recommend it?
Thanks.

Greer is actually one of the best Shakespeare commentators around. Her PhD was in Shakespeare comedy and she has been professor of English at Warwick (one of the best universities in the UK tpo study Shakespeare - if not the best).
The 'Short Introduction' was written some time ago - but still remains the strongest serious introduction around - there is a lot in it (it is short - not easy) much of which is way ahead of the thinking of many scholars (and nearly every school teacher I've met).
There is a lot in it for even the 'knowledgeable' - and the focus is very clearly the plays.

(I'd also recommend her 'Shakespeare's Wife' - but only after you get to know the plays well - and maybe read some of the more standard biographies.)
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Recommendations 8 years 6 months ago #1916

  • akfarrar
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Sometimes the light comes only with the morning - the most important thing to say about Greer's book is that it has influenced my understanding of Shakespeare as a whole in a more profound way than any other book or commentary - and that certainly includes several on your list.
As an overview it gives consistency to the works, it clarifies many obscure points and it is obviously intelligent.
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Recommendations 8 years 6 months ago #1917

  • Jess Pease
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The Shakespeare Wars is fantastic, but I love Ron Rosenbaum anyway. It more opens up and introduces you to different pathways of Shakespeare scholarship, rather than going into any particular depth on any one subject, but it's well-written and if you're anything like me it'll get you started on any number of obsessive searches through Shakespeare criticism.
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Recommendations 8 years 6 months ago #1918

  • wayneford
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akfarrar wrote:
Sometimes the light comes only with the morning - the most important thing to say about Greer's book is that it has influenced my understanding of Shakespeare as a whole in a more profound way than any other book or commentary - and that certainly includes several on your list.
As an overview it gives consistency to the works, it clarifies many obscure points and it is obviously intelligent.

I'll check out this book. It seems to be exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much.
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