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3 Works 456 Membros 22 Críticas

Obras por Susannah Carson

A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen (2009) — Editor; Contribuidor — 367 exemplares
Shakespeare and Me (2014) 2 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Yale University



auldhouse | 17 outras críticas | Sep 30, 2021 |
I would recommend this marvelous book to anyone who has an interest in Shakespeare. Not only are the many essays insightful, some are deeply personal. The contributors run the gamut from actors who have been knighted for their brilliant contributions to comic book writers to novelists to critics. Each in its own way sheds new light on one or more plays or characters.

Everyone will have their own favorite essays, but the following are what stick in my mind:

I felt privileged to read Ben Kingsley's reflections about how various theatrical spaces shaped one company's performances of "The Merchant of Venice," and James Earl Jones' thoughts on Othello as "The Sun King." Ralph Fiennes gives insight into his choices in making the film version of "Coriolanus" (a favorite of mine) as does Julie Taymor in her marvelous "Tempest" with Helen Mirren as Prospera.

I didn't care much for "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" when I saw it performed, and I have no real interest in the questions of the differences in the different extant versions of Shakespeare's plays, but somehow I found myself completely engaged with Jess Winfield's discussion of Shakespare's texts, using "Complete Works (abridged)" -- which he was part of creating -- as a lense.

Whatever your interest, you will find something here to enjoy -- and probably more than you expected to. I will be keeping this volume close and revisiting the individual chapters as I study the different plays.
… (mais)
jsabrina | 3 outras críticas | Jul 13, 2021 |
My long time fascination with Shakespeare started a long time ago when I was attending the British Council. I won’t dwell on it again.

In this “Living with Shakespeare” I didn’t get much on Hamlet, but I kept thinking about Hamlet's five soliloquies; the humour and poignancy of Kent's words in King Lear; the horror of what happens to Gloucester and the heart-rending ending of the same play. The mixed emotions of the finale to Macbeth. Mark Antony's speeches in Julius Caesar. Iago's words in Othello. Shakespeare gave the world a literary water-fountain around which to gather when engaging with the great issues of each passing generation. His heroes and villains, his comedies and his tragedies make up an unerringly eloquent compendium of human frailties/motives as the world changes - and yet nothing changes. And I've hardly scratched the surface of how Shakespeare's words have the power to move and shock and create laughter like no one else has been able to before or since. The naysayers should take the time to experience a play performed live or, at the very least, watch a film version. It will hopefully change their minds. And he is not just for 'middle class snobs'! Shakespeare's for everybody. After having finished this book, I'm reminded of Harold Bloom's comments about Marlowe in 'The Western Canon', when he says that Marlowe the man 'can be meditated upon endlessly, as the plays not'; sometimes the writer's life - especially with Marlowe - can be even more interesting than their work. If the story of Shakespeare's life was that good he would have written a play about himself... maybe that is what he did with "The Tempest". I remember watching a video of the play "Cheapside" at The British Council in the 80s, wherein David Allen's brilliant play about Richard Greene has Shakespeare darting on occasionally as a sharp-eyed (upstart?) magpie always on the lookout for gleaming lines and plots to lift. In the closing scene he lets himself into the dead Greene's room and rummages surreptitiously through the half-finished manuscripts. "'Story for a Snowy Night'" he muses to himself. "Mmm.... A Winter's Tale?'" It's such a cheeky cameo - lovely stuff.

Shakespeare remains relevant because his understanding of universals was profound, and his language remains piercingly fresh. He was a genius living at a time when the English language was still wonderfully malleable. It was an age in which the known world was expanding with the discovery of the Americas, when England was a centre of growing prosperity and technological advance - and the headiness of living in a country in such flux is palpable in the texts too. That Shakespeare was a brilliant literary innovator just isn't in doubt; you have only to read Spenser, Marlowe and Jonson to see it. They are all stupendous in different ways (I recently reread Jonson's “The Alchemist” and was astonished all over again), but the acuity of Shakespeare's phrases, the penetrating psychological insights in Macbeth, Lear and Hamlet, the sheer beauty and strangeness of the language and the thinking set him apart. To say Shakespeare remains an icon for English-speaking people all over the world contradicts the well-known idea that Shakespeare is a 'universal soul'. All of my friends whose first language is not English regard Shakespeare as a great. The poet transcends not only time but culture and language. I've always wondered how it can be possible to translate Shakespeare into modern foreign languages, especially languages which are linguistically remote from English like the Portuguese Language, yet people do it, amazingly. As Ian Dury once wrote - 'There ain't half been some clever bastards'.

Politicians have done much to undermine a common set of values among us human beings. Thatcher's "there is no such thing as society" comes to mind. In the Bard we find touchstones that are timeless and inform our basic values - simply as people. In many situations the words Macbeth, Brutus, Cordelia, Shylock or Malvolio are all that is needed to set the tone or the scene. Good point about politicians. People get suckered by them, child-like, time after time. I'm sure Shakespeare had something to say about gullibility. Must check it out when Benfica’s team is not on...

NB: We should not overlook Shakespeare's influence on the development of German drama via the translations of Gottfried Herder. But Herder to Goethe in a letter: "Shakespeare hat Euch ganz verdorben"! The same happened to some Portuguese people...
… (mais)
antao | 3 outras críticas | Jun 3, 2018 |
The essays vary in quality, but most are highly entertaining and widely divergent views of Jane Austen's works (although all agree they LIKE the books, not all agree on which ones are the BEST).
You should probably (re-)read the books yourself before beginning, which I did not.
(Bedtime reading, one essay per night.)
librisissimo | 17 outras críticas | Feb 26, 2017 |


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Harold Bloom Foreword, Contributor
Benjamin Nugent Contributor
J. B. Priestley Contributor
Amy Bloom Contributor
Margot Livesey Contributor
Lionel Trilling Contributor
Ian Watt Contributor
Eva Brann Contributor
Virginia Woolf Contributor
C. S. Lewis Contributor
Diane Johnson Contributor
James Collins Contributor
Amy Heckerling Contributor
John Wiltshire Contributor
Alain De Botton Contributor
Donald Greene Contributor
Brian Southam Contributor
Rebecca Mead Contributor
Ignes Sodre Contributor
Louis Auchincloss Contributor
Janet Todd Contributor
Jay McInerney Contributor
Kingsley Amis Contributor
Susanna Clarke Contributor
Martin Amis Contributor
E. M. Forster Contributor
David Lodge Contributor
A.S. Byatt Contributor
Anna Quindlen Contributor
Eudora Welty Contributor
Fay Weldon Contributor
Tobias Menzies Contributor
Ralph Fiennes Contributor
Joyce Carol Oates Contributor
Fiasco Theater Contributor
Jess Winfield Contributor
Barry John Contributor
Rory Kinnear Contributor
Harriet Walter Contributor
Conor McCreery Contributor
Ben Kingsley Contributor
Isabel Allende Contributor
Eamonn Walker Contributor
David Farr Contributor
Eve Best Contributor
Richard Scholar Contributor
James Franco Contributor
Matt Sturges Contributor
F. Murray Abraham Contributor
Dominic Dromgoole Contributor
Bill Willingham Contributor
Camille Paglia Contributor
Margaret Drabble Contributor
Stanley Cavell Contributor
J. D. McClatchy Contributor
Alan Gordon Contributor
Antony Sher Contributor
James Prosek Contributor
Brian Cox Contributor
Cicely Berry Contributor
Julie Taymor Contributor
Jane Smiley Contributor
Angus Fletcher Contributor
Peter David Contributor
James Earl Jones Contributor
Germaine Greer Contributor
Eleanor Brown Contributor
Karin Coonrod Contributor



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