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Me and Shakespeare: Adventures with the Bardby Herman Gollob
Synopses & Reviews
One man’s post-retirement passion for the works of history's greatest literary genius becomes an inspiring intellectual and spiritual adventure--and a lesson in the ageless wisdom to be found in literature.
In the twilight of a successful career as a book editor, Herman Gollob attended a superb Broadway production of Hamlet with Ralph Fiennes. The experience proved so galvanizing that it ignited a latent passion for literary scholarship and for all things Shakespearean. Shedding the drudgery of fixing halt and lame manuscripts, he engaged in a fever of self-education via a vast array of books, videotapes, performances, and lectures--becoming, as he put it, "an old man made mad by love of Shakespeare." In short order, he became so well versed that he began teaching a popular Shakespeare course for seniors at a small local college in New Jersey. He then made a visit to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.; sought out encounters with great actors and directors--including Olympia Dukakis, Michael Kahn, David Suchet, John Barton, and Cicely Berry; took a summer course on Shakespeare at Oxford; and made a pilgrimage to the Globe Theatre in London to see, of course, Hamlet. This late-blooming Bardomania even enriched the growth of his Jewish identity, resulting in a uniquely Hebraic theory about King Lear.
In relating this tale of an autodidact's progress, Gollob interweaves his rich family history, personal experience, and past meetings with the great and notorious, including Orson Welles, James Jones, Lee Marvin, Frank Sinatra, Donald Barthelme, James Clavell, Dan Jenkins, Willie Morris, and a host of others. Like Great Books by David Denby, Me and Shakespeare is a memoir that attests to the lifelong power of literature to enrich, enlarge, and exalt. It is, as well, one of the most entertaining and unusual books on Shakespeare ever written.
From the Hardcover edition.
Revealing the extraordinary power of literature to enrich one's life, a retired editor describes how his fascination with the life and works of William Shakespeare prompted a latent passion for literary scholarship and became a spiritual and intellectual adventure that transformed his life. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
On the eve of retiring from a successful publishing career, Herman Gollob attends a wonderful Broadway production of Hamlet starring Ralph Fiennes. Galvanized by the splendor of the language, the drama and the acting, he discovers an insatiable passion for all things Shakespeare. He reads broadly and deeply about the plays, discusses them with some of the great actors, directors, and teachers of our time, andsoon finds himself teaching a popular Shakespeare class at a small New Jersey college.
Gollob's quest leads him to Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-on-Avon; to the FolgerShakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.; to a summer course on Shakespeare at Oxford; and to London's recently rebuilt Globe Theatre. As he pursues his glorious new obsession, Gollob reflects on hisfamily's bittersweet history, his encounters with writers, and the emergence of a Jewish identity that inspires some original ideas about Shakespeare's plays. Me andShakespeare is a joyful memoir that attests to the power of literature to re-invigorate our lives at any age.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Herman Gollob is a graduate of Texas A&M University. After serving in the U.S. Air Force in Korea, he worked as a theatrical agent for the MCA Artists Agency and a literary agent for the William Morris Agency before finding his calling as an editor with Little, Brown. He has been editor in chief of Atheneum, Harpers Magazine Press, the Literary Guild, and Doubleday, and a senior editor at Simon & Schuster. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife, Barbara, and teaches Shakespeare at the Lifelong Learning Institute of Caldwell College.
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