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The great William : writers reading Shakespeare

Author: Theodore B Leinwand
Publisher: Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2016. ©2016
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The Great William is the first book to explore how seven renowned writers—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Virginia Woolf, Charles Olson, John Berryman, Allen Ginsberg, and Ted Hughes—wrestled with Shakespeare in the very moments when they were reading his work. What emerges is a constellation of remarkable intellectual and emotional encounters. Theodore Leinwand builds impressively detailed accounts of these  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Named Person: William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; Virginia Woolf; John Berryman; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; John Keats; Ted Hughes; Allen Ginsberg; Charles Olson
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Theodore B Leinwand
ISBN: 9780226367552 022636755X 9780226367699 022636769X
OCLC Number: 920017281
Description: viii, 231 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction --
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "impelling thoughts" about Shakespeare --
John Keats on sitting down to read Shakespeare once again --
Virginia Woolf reads "the great William" --
Charles Olson's "objectist Shakespeare" --
John Berryman's Shakespeare/Shakespeare's John Berryman --
Allen Ginsberg on Shakespeare's funny mouthings --
Ted Hughes reads the complete Shakespeare --
Conclusion.
Responsibility: Theodore Leinwand.

Abstract:

The Great William is the first book to explore how seven renowned writers—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Virginia Woolf, Charles Olson, John Berryman, Allen Ginsberg, and Ted Hughes—wrestled with Shakespeare in the very moments when they were reading his work. What emerges is a constellation of remarkable intellectual and emotional encounters. Theodore Leinwand builds impressively detailed accounts of these writers’ experiences through their marginalia, lectures, letters, journals, and reading notes. We learn why Woolf associated reading Shakespeare with her brother Thoby, and what Ginsberg meant when referring to the mouth feel of Shakespeare’s verse. From Hughes’s attempts to find a “skeleton key” to all of Shakespeare’s plays to Berryman’s tormented efforts to edit King Lear, Leinwand reveals the palpable energy and conviction with which these seven writers engaged with Shakespeare, their moments of utter self-confidence and profound vexation. In uncovering these intense public and private reactions, The Great William connects major writers’ hitherto unremarked scenes of reading Shakespeare with our own.

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Leinwand s book is first-rate, a pleasure to read, and one of the smartest and most engaging studies to have crossed my desk in a very long time. It is also rich in archival discoveries, steeped in Read more...

 
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