John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, editor of The Norton Shakespeare, and prizewinning author of academic books including Hamlet in Purgatory, Stephen Greenblatt garnered a 2004 National Book Award nomination for his eye-opening look at the life and career of William Shakespeare.
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Date of Birth:
November 7, 1943
Place of Birth:
B.A., Yale University, 1964; B.A., Cambridge University, 1966; Ph.D., Yale University, 1969
James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association, 1989 (for Shakespearean Negotiations); Mellon Distinguished Humanist Award, 2002; Erasmus Institute Prize, 2002
|2004 National Book Award Finalist|
|Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare|
The basic biographical facts of Shakespeare's life have been known for over a century -- but now, Greenblatt shows how this particular life history gave rise to the world's greatest writer. Featuring 16 pages of color illustrations, Will in the World interweaves a searching account of Elizabethan England with a vivid narrative of the playwright's life.
|An Acquired Taste?|
|Though I have spent much of my adult life thinking about Shakespeare, my first encounter with Shakespeare was a disaster," Greenblatt reveals in our exclusive interview. "In junior high school, I found As You Like It quite possibly the most tedious and annoying thing I had ever read.”|
|An Early Influence||Greenblatt's Reading Recommendations|
|On the Genealogy of Morals|
In our interview, Greenblatt recalled how reading Nietzsche's classic had an impact on his career as a writer: "It deeply shocked and upset me; in fact I hated it," he recalls. But it deeply challenged everything I believed in and cared about; it made me understand that a book could do such a thing, and I have never fully recovered from its recklessness and brilliance."
Greenblatt names Dickens's classic Great Expectations as another favorite book, calling it "fantastic to read aloud, as well as silently; at once wildly entertaining and deeply moving." Read our interview with Greenblatt to learn more about his favorite books, including: