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Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Sunday 29/April/2018 - 10:12 AM
Book cover
Book cover
Edited by: Yara Sameh
The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, reissued with a new afterword for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

A young man from a small provincial town moves to London in the late 1580s and, in a remarkably short time, becomes the greatest playwright not of his age alone but of all time. How is an achievement of this magnitude to be explained? Stephen Greenblatt brings us down to earth to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life, could have become the world’s greatest playwright.

Editorial Reviews
“Vividly written, richly detailed, and insightful from first chapter to last . . . certain to secure a place among the essential studies of the greatest of all writers.”
- William E. Cain, Boston Sunday Globe

“So engrossing, clearheaded, and lucid that its arrival is not just welcome but cause for celebration.”
- Dan Cryer, Newsday

“Dazzling and subtle.”
- Richard Lacayo, Time

“A magnificent achievement.”
- Denis Donoghue, Wall Street Journal

From AudioFile
Greenblatt offers many facts about Shakespeare's times, many wild conjectures about Shakespeare's life, and many specious analyses about Shakespeare's art. Written divertingly, if not convincingly, the book is yet another critical exegesis on the Bard of Avon's life and times. What sets it apart is the engaging performance of narrator Peter Jay Fernandez, whose obvious relish for this material--especially the excerpts from the plays--is evident throughout. He is not the most insightful or graceful interpreter of the poet's writings, but he is by no means the worst either. He enjoys quoting the Elizabethan sources, and his relish is infectious. Those who may miss a British accent should be reminded that Shakespeare and his fellow players did not have what we today recognize as a British accent. Y.R. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Paperback: 464 pages
Author: Stephen Greenblatt
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Anniversary edition (April 4, 2016)
Language: English
Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches

About the Author
Stephen Greenblatt (Ph.D. Yale) is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Also General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, he is the author of eleven books, including Tyrant, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve: The Story that Created Us, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (winner of the 2011 National Book Award and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize); Shakespeare's Freedom; Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; Hamlet in Purgatory; Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World; Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture; and Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. He has edited seven collections of criticism, including Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, and is a founding coeditor of the journal Representations. His honors include the MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize, for both Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England and The Swerve, the Sapegno Prize, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation, the Wilbur Cross Medal from the Yale University Graduate School, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, the Erasmus Institute Prize, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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