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After Shakespeare: Writing Inspired by the World's Greatest Author
     

After Shakespeare: Writing Inspired by the World's Greatest Author

by John Gross
 

No writer has served as such a powerful source of inspiration for other writers, or attracted such varied and widespread comment, as William Shakespeare. From West Side Story, Ivan Turgenev's A Lear of the Steppes, Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead to Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert's "Elegy for Fortinbras," Shakespeare's presence in

Overview

No writer has served as such a powerful source of inspiration for other writers, or attracted such varied and widespread comment, as William Shakespeare. From West Side Story, Ivan Turgenev's A Lear of the Steppes, Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead to Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert's "Elegy for Fortinbras," Shakespeare's presence in literature and theater has been powerful and pervasive.
Now, in After Shakespeare, editor John Gross brings together a lively gathering of writings that testify to that presence. More passionate and more personal than most Shakespeare criticism, these pieces reveal much more directly Shakespeare's effect on the generations of writers and thinkers who came after him. Novelists, poets, and playwrights are all represented, as one would expect. But Shakespeare's influence extends beyond the expected to philosophers, historians, composers, film-makers, and politicians. Here we see how Shakespearean characters and motifs fueled the genius of Goethe and Dostoevsky, Aldous Huxley and Emily Dickenson, John Updike and Duke Ellington, Marcel Proust and Grigor Kozintsev. We see Shakespeare the man firing the imaginations of Kipling, Joyce, Borges, and Burgess. Herman Melville writes a poem about Falstaff. D. H. Lawrence anatomizes Hamlet, (revealing much about his own aesthetic in the process). R. K. Narayan describes a Shakespeare lesson in an Indian classroom. John Osborne adapts Coriolanus. Eugene Ionescu reworks Macbeth. We even see Shakespeare's power to console the lonely prisoner in the writings of Alfred Dreyfus and Nelson Mandela.
Wide-ranging, surprising, and written with refreshing immediacy, After Shakespeare brings together a collection of writings that not only reflects Shakespeare's enduring spirit but brilliantly embodies it.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A delighful new anthology.... Gross' miscellany is of the sort that few scholars have dared undertake since the 19th century, an antidote to academic tomes that throws together extracts on Shakespeare and his plays from sources as varied as the bard's 400 years of readers. The variations are staggering, but if there's one underlying theme, it's the struggle writers have had in emerging from the shadow of Shakespeare's formidable reputation."—Johathon Keats, Salon.com

"A unique collection of quotes, excerpts, and poems about Shakespeare and his oeuvre as evidence of Shakespeare's extensive cultural influence.... No other book takes this approach to Shakespeare's cultural influence."—Library Journal


Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192804723
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/19/2003
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

John Gross is the author of The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters (1969) and editor of The Oxford Book of Aphorisms (1983), and The Oxford Book of Essays (1999), among other publications. He was editor of the Times Literary Supplement from 1974 to 1981, and is currently theatre critic of the Sunday Telegraph. He lives in England.

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