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

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

ISBN13: 9780375503399
ISBN10: 0375503390
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"A lot of how you feel about this book will depend on how you judge its tone. Is it boyishly enthusiastic or annoyingly self-indulgent? Certainly, 'The Shakespeare Wars' provides a superb overview of contemporary Shakespeare scholarship, with particular attention paid to textual studies and performance practice. Its author, Ron Rosenbaum, is unquestionably smart, well read, passionate about his subject... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Most love affairs are private obsessions, of course, and if Rosenbaum had picked anyone but Shakespeare to lavish with such rhapsodic scrutiny it might be hard to join him in his endeavor....His sighs are the sighs of all Shakespeare lovers, concentrated." Walter Kirn, New York Times

Review:

"The Shakespeare Wars is a welcome addition to Rosenbaum's new genre. It will be interesting to see where the author turns his eclectic eye next." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Ron Rosenbaum is one of the most original journalists and writers of our time." David Remnick

Review:

"Readers will get a mentally invigorating read but no definitive answers to the questions Rosenbaum poses." Library Journal

Review:

"In-depth critical analysis handled with a light touch and unfailing respect for the reader's intelligence: cultural journalism of the highest order." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Rosenbaum's provocative and illuminating encounters with scholars and directors gives readers new ways of thinking about Shakespeare.

Synopsis:

“[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 Shakespeares 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 scholars 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 Bards 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 Shakespeares language has been lost–and how to restore it. Rosenbaums hilarious inside account of “the Great Shakespeare ‘Funeral Elegy Fiasco,” a man-versus-computer clash, illustrates the iconic struggle to define what is and isnt “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 Shakespeares 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.

About the Author

Ron Rosenbaum studied Shakespeare at Yale. His bestselling work of cultural history, Explaining Hitler, has been translated into ten languages. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper's, the Atlantic, and the New Yorker. He writes a column for the New York Observer and lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Kirk, October 29, 2006 (view all comments by Kirk)
A scholar analyzes Shakespeare in a way that the rest of us can understand and appreciate. "Hamlet" and "King Lear" make a little more sense, and we learn how the plays changed over the years.
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(12 of 21 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375503399
Subtitle:
Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups
Author:
Rosenbaum, Ron
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
Shakespeare
Subject:
Shakespeare, William
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Publication Date:
September 19, 2006
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
624
Dimensions:
9.60x6.54x1.43 in. 2.20 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Criticism
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 624 pages Random House - English 9780375503399 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Most love affairs are private obsessions, of course, and if Rosenbaum had picked anyone but Shakespeare to lavish with such rhapsodic scrutiny it might be hard to join him in his endeavor....His sighs are the sighs of all Shakespeare lovers, concentrated."
"Review" by , "The Shakespeare Wars is a welcome addition to Rosenbaum's new genre. It will be interesting to see where the author turns his eclectic eye next."
"Review" by , "Ron Rosenbaum is one of the most original journalists and writers of our time."
"Review" by , "Readers will get a mentally invigorating read but no definitive answers to the questions Rosenbaum poses."
"Review" by , "In-depth critical analysis handled with a light touch and unfailing respect for the reader's intelligence: cultural journalism of the highest order."
"Synopsis" by , Rosenbaum's provocative and illuminating encounters with scholars and directors gives readers new ways of thinking about Shakespeare.

"Synopsis" by , “[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 Shakespeares 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 scholars 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 Bards 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 Shakespeares language has been lost–and how to restore it. Rosenbaums hilarious inside account of “the Great Shakespeare ‘Funeral Elegy Fiasco,” a man-versus-computer clash, illustrates the iconic struggle to define what is and isnt “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 Shakespeares 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.

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