The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes,

The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups [Reading] ➾ The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups By Ron Rosenbaum – Thomashillier.co.uk Ron Rosenbaum is one of the most original journalists and writers of our time David RemnickIn The Shakespeare Wars, Ron Rosenbaum gives readers an unforgettable way of rethinking the greatest works of Ron Rosenbaum Wars: Clashing PDF ´ is one of the most original journalists and writers of our time David RemnickIn The Shakespeare Wars, Ron Rosenbaum gives readers an unforgettable way of rethinking the greatest works of the The Shakespeare MOBI :↠ human imagination As he did in his groundbreaking Explaining Hitler, he shakes up much that we thought we understood about a vital subject and renews our sense of excitement and urgency He gives us Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Epub Þ a Shakespeare book like no other Rather than raking over worn out fragments of biography, Rosenbaum focuses on cutting edge controversies about the true source of Shakespeare s enchantment and illumination the astonishing language itself How best to unlock the secrets of its spell With quicksilver wit and provocative insight, Rosenbaum takes readers into the midst of fierce battles among the most brilliant Shakespearean scholars and directors over just how to delve deeper into the Shakespearean experience deeper into the mind of ShakespeareWas Shakespeare the one draft wonder of Shakespeare in Love Or was he rather as an embattled faction of textual scholars now argues a different kind of writer entirely a conscientious reviser of his greatest plays Must we then revise our way of reading, staging, and interpreting such works as Hamlet and King Lear Rosenbaum pursues key partisans in these debates from the high tables of Oxford to a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop in a strip mall in the Deep South He makes ostensibly arcane textual scholarship intensely seductive and sometimes even explicitly sexual At an academic Pleasure Seminar in Bermuda, for instance, he examines one scholar s quest to find an orgasm in Romeo and Juliet Rosenbaum shows us great directors as Shakespearean scholars in their own right We hear Peter Brook perhaps the most influential Shakespearean director of the past century disclose his quest for a secret play hidden within the Bard s comedies and dramas We listen to Sir Peter Hall, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, as he launches into an impassioned, table pounding fury while discussing how the means of unleashing the full intensity of Shakespeare s language has been lost and how to restore it Rosenbaum s hilarious inside account of the Great Shakespeare Funeral Elegy Fiasco, a man versus computer clash, illustrates the iconic struggle to define what is and isn t Shakespearean And he demonstrates the way Shakespearean scholars such as Harold Bloom can become great Shakespearean characters in their own right The Shakespeare Wars offers a thrilling opportunity to engage with Shakespeare s work at its deepest levels Like Explaining Hitler, this book is destined to revolutionize the way we think about one of the overwhelming obsessions of our time.


10 thoughts on “The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups

  1. Manuel Antão Manuel Antão says:

    If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.The Germans have Goethe, the Russians Dostoevsky, the Spanish Cervantes, the Portuguese Fernando Pessoa and Cam es The English speaking world has Shakespeare with a difference Shakespeare speaks to us from a 400 year gap, while Goethe, Dostoevsky, Cervantes, and Pessoa are much closer to us Their language is basically the language that we speak today Not so with Shakespeare Early Modern English is another language This is w If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.The Germans have Goethe, the Russians Dostoevsky, the Spanish Cervantes, the Portuguese Fernando Pessoa and Cam es The English speaking world has Shakespeare with a difference Shakespeare speaks to us from a 400 year gap, while Goethe, Dostoevsky, Cervantes, and Pessoa are much closer to us Their language is basically the language that we speak today Not so with Shakespeare Early Modern English is another language This is what makes Shakespeare different, as well as the fact that we know next to nothing about him, which makes him harder to read and interpret.You can read the rest of this review elsewhere


  2. Rachel Rachel says:

    This book was pure joy from start to finish Do NOT be intimidated by the title or the topic I hadn t read Shakespeare since high school though I have read manyplays since reading this book and savoured every word Rosenbaum who is now one of my favorite living writers is a savvy, chatty, often hilarious guide through the twists and turns of Shakespeare scholarship now and down the centuries Anyone familiar with Biblical exegesis will recognize elements in the debates among academics This book was pure joy from start to finish Do NOT be intimidated by the title or the topic I hadn t read Shakespeare since high school though I have read manyplays since reading this book and savoured every word Rosenbaum who is now one of my favorite living writers is a savvy, chatty, often hilarious guide through the twists and turns of Shakespeare scholarship now and down the centuries Anyone familiar with Biblical exegesis will recognize elements in the debates among academics and amateurs about what Shakespeare s true intentions were as his plays evolved from Quatro to Folio or what distinguishes an authentic edit from a printer s error I kept thinking WWSD What Would Shakespeare Do There are also a fascinating chapter on how film has changed Shakespearean acting and staging If you don t want to run out and read re read The Tempest, Twelfth Night or A Midsummer Night s Dream after reading this book, you haven t read it well enough The footnotes alone are worth the price


  3. nostalgebraist nostalgebraist says:

    This book is good at what it does namely, being a breezy, very entertaining, and sometimes interesting narrative account of a whole bunch of mostly academic disputes about Shakespeare 550 pages of that is a bit much, though, and the book fails at being anything .The book presents itself as not your ordinary Shakespeare book, mostly because it ignores biographical issues almost entirely Except for one short chapter, there is essentially nothing in here about who Shakespeare really w This book is good at what it does namely, being a breezy, very entertaining, and sometimes interesting narrative account of a whole bunch of mostly academic disputes about Shakespeare 550 pages of that is a bit much, though, and the book fails at being anything .The book presents itself as not your ordinary Shakespeare book, mostly because it ignores biographical issues almost entirely Except for one short chapter, there is essentially nothing in here about who Shakespeare really was and how that might or might not reflect on the work or vice versa Instead, it s about what Rosenbaum says is the kind of stuff Shakespeareans really care about stuff that largely seems terribly nerdy and undramatic and boring at first glance, like can we identify the individual people who composed the printed texts of Shakespeare s plays by looking at their punctuation habits , or do we gain anything from reading Shakespeare without modernized spelling , or is it really important to pause noticeably at the end of an iambic line But, Rosenbaum says, these issues aren t as trivial as they seem In fact he contends Shakespeareans are having passionate debates about this stuff not because they are trivia obsessed pedants, or because they have run out of other things to do, but because these issues bear importantly on the question of what it means to be Shakespearean One thing that can be said for Rosenbaum is that he does a stunning job making these boring debates entertaining To some extent this is because the debates arepyrotechnic than you might imagine given the subject matter There are towering egos and deeply felt opinions involved here, and in most cases Rosenbaum has a good human story to tell even if he doesn t necessarily have a good case that the reader should care which side is right More on that later The other reason the book is entertaining is that Rosenbaum has a very fun, jokey, casual, pun filled writing style This might seem like faint praise and I guess it is but this is the easiest, most frictionless book I have read in a long time, one I could rely on even when I was too tired or whatever to read anything else, because it s just so instantly engaging and chatty It feels like reading 550 pages of blog posts it has that combination of elevated subject matter, casual tone, and fondness for cheesy jokes that isoften seen on blogs than in printed books, in my experience anyway.The downside is that none of this really adds up to anythingthan a big collection of stories about scholars and directors yelling at one another, and I found it difficult to have the same enthusiasm for the 13th or 14th such story that I did for the first few Rosenbaum is a journalist, and his tellings of these stories are journalistic in nature he mostly just tells you who did what in what order, and while he provides a bit of interpretive gloss, it s rarely very detailed or deep, and feels almost perfunctory, as if he feels he has to convince us these stories are important when he s really telling them as a sort of highbrow gossip about exciting, slightly famous people.For instance, one chapter is about the debate over whether a bad, tedious poem called the Funeral Elegy was in fact by Shakespeare as someone at one point claimed he had proven using computerized textual analysis In the hands of some authors this would have been the pretext for a thoughtful investigation of what it would mean to learn that Shakespeare had written something almost universally viewed as bad, and whether it s actually true that the large corpus of known Shakespearean writing is really all so invariably good Or about how the computer analysis in question worked and what it did and didn t take into account, and about the role of computers in textual scholarshipgenerally Or something In Rosenbaum s hands it is mostly a dramatic human interest story about the hubris of Don Foster, the computer analyst portrayed as a bombastic prick whose own confidence comes back to bite him in the end and about Rosenbaum s own battles with Foster and his joyous vindication at Foster s eventual downfall The chapter opens with an account of how Foster once told Rosenbaum I could destroy you talk about drama In fact much of the book is somewhat autobiographical, with Rosenbaum continually drawing things back to particular conversations he had with eminent Shakespeareans and how they made him feel One gets a very clear sense that Rosenbaum as a journalist rather than an actor, director or academic can t help but feel marginal to the Shakespearean community, and feels an anxious need to remind you that he was somehow involved, Forrest Gump like, in every one of the battles he chronicles At points this gets pretty weird e.g he begins a chapter about Peter Brook, a famous director he loves, with an embarrassing personal anecdote about how he acted like a boor while attending a public discussion with Brook, and even includes the full text of the apology letter he sent to Brook the next day I wanted to say Ron, please, is this really going to help me understand Shakespeare Which is the central problem with this book Rosenbaum claims that all of these stories can be mined for insight about the nature of Shakespeare s work and what it means to be Shakespearean, but the analysis just isn t there In many cases the debates involve the notion of what it means to be Shakespearan, but that isn t the same thing For instance, the various chapters about attribution such as the Funeral Elegy chapter involve various people making claims about whether a given work feels like Shakespeare, but it isn t surprising or especially interesting that people have such intuitions, or that the intuitions don t always agree What would be interesting would be an analysis of what these intuitions are based on, and whether they can be boiled down to anything that can be simply stated Instead of which Rosenbaum just gives usgossip and drama and let me spend three pages recounting this funny remark a famous Shakespearean made to me while we were having lunch together one day in 1998Well, okay to Rosenbaum s credit, he does have a sort of unified theory of Shakespeare that, to him, justifies the reason the book is the way it is Rosenbaum feels that Shakespeare s defining quality is his bottomlessness, the way his writing can generate endless interpretations without ever leading one to feel that one has fully understood it a quality that comes across directly as a sort of mental vertigo felt while watching especially good performances He describes this feeling in detail in an introductory chapter in which I m not sure if this was the intended effect he comes across almost exactly like someone enthusing about their LSD experiences He uses the word bottomlessness again and again as a quick, easy explanation of why this or that debate was important what it means to be Shakespearean is to be the kind of thing that people can have these endless arguments about.Here is why I don t find this convincing When I was in my mid teens, I spent a lot of time on online forums devoted to video games Shut up, it s not like you were doing anythingworthwhile at that age I mean, uh, unless you were One of these forums was dedicated to a specific set of games developed by the same group of people One game was called Xenogears, and it had a series of successors that went under the series title Xenosaga We had endless debates about the relative quality of these games, about various ambiguities in their storylines, and this was the big one about whether the Xenosaga series was a prequel to Xenogears that would eventually lead into a remake of Xenogears, or whether it was just telling an unrelated story that happened to have some odd similarities to the Xenogears backstory This debate grew very complicated, involved a number of big forum personalities who became known for their distinctive personality quirks and arguing styles, and involved all sorts of nitpicking about frustratingly incomplete sources for instance a set of interviews, translated perhaps poorly from Japanese, in which the director of the Xeno games made a set of maddeningly contradictory statements about their relation to one another In short, although it was about low culture rather than high culture, this debate had all the qualities of the debates retold by Rosenbaum big personalities with longstanding feuds, complicated and nitpicky arguments, ambiguous sources, neverending disagreement And it was bottomless enough for me to sink countless hours of my adolescence into.In other words, there is little about the debates retold in this book that really separates them from the similarly endless debates held among Trekkies, or Xeno fans, or Civil War re enactors, or model train kit collectors, or whatever The simple fact is, nerds will have endless nitpicky debates about just about anything, and so it isn t surprising that there are people having these kinds of debates about Shakespeare Surely the thing that makes Shakespeare special can t be that he has his own set of argumentative fans, because everything has those The bottomlessness idea just doesn t work, and thestories Rosenbaum tells, theclear it becomes that it doesn t work Shakespeare nerds are just nerds, when you get down to it.That was a lot of carping for a book that I enjoyed as much as I enjoyed this one I think ultimately it is just too long and too ambitious, and Rosenbaum overstays his welcome The breezy style and lack of interpretive substance aren t fit for the size of the book after the halfway point it s hard not to keep asking this is it as Rosenbaum keeps on doing the same old stuff But if you like reading about literary scholarship, or about nerds having dramatic arguments, it s a very fun book Just too long for its own good


  4. Andrew Andrew says:

    This book is on the cusp of brilliance What does slow my unabashed enthusiasm for the work is the needless repetition of many of the books points Rosenbaum s passion gets muddled through repeating many identical points back to back But putting that aside, the book opens up a window to the raging world of debate in current Shakespearean criticism This book is a good primer for the would be expert a wading pool.


  5. Kaya Kaya says:

    If you want to know why Ron Rosenbaum thinks he knowsabout Shakespeare than you do, maybe you ll enjoy this Otherwise, look forward to occasional insights about the plays, Greenblat bashing, Bloom bashing, and a lot of reminders about how long it took Rosenbaum to write this book.


  6. Scott Wilson Scott Wilson says:

    This book is definitely not for everyone however for the people interested in the debates of Shakespearean scholars I think it is a great read I m definitely not a Shakespeare scholar but I have a huge interest in everything Shakespeare and so I appreciate Rosenbaum writing this book in a way that people like me can appreciate He interviews and talks about many of the great thinkers surrounding WS and shares with the reader both or multiple sides to many hot topics surrounding Shakespeare Ros This book is definitely not for everyone however for the people interested in the debates of Shakespearean scholars I think it is a great read I m definitely not a Shakespeare scholar but I have a huge interest in everything Shakespeare and so I appreciate Rosenbaum writing this book in a way that people like me can appreciate He interviews and talks about many of the great thinkers surrounding WS and shares with the reader both or multiple sides to many hot topics surrounding Shakespeare Rosenbaum states early in the book that he is not as interested in studying the life of Shakespeare and whether he was gay bi straight for example or a secretive Catholic He believes that the focus should be on the texts themselves and what he calls close reading One brief passage that went right over my head frankly, He argued the ideal beauty as it was commonly described and produced in the Renaissance involved a kind of featureless, an abstractedness from individuality , a proportionality, a harmony that subsisted in the relationship of perfectly formed, virtually interchangeable parts rather than in the particular features themselves I have no idea what the heck that means but the overwhelming majority of the book presents scholarly topics in a way any Shakespeare enthusiast could understand.I saw some reviews attack him for promoting himself in this book and frankly I think its the opposite I think Rosenbaum spends most of the book showering praise on other writers, scholars and directors He does go after Harold Bloom some which I agree with and enjoyed to be honest I find Bloom s takes on Shakespeare to be absurd and over the top.I don t agree with every take in the book but it is full of very interesting opinions that I believe have broadened my understanding of Shakespeare and for that I say thank you Mr Rosenbaum.I finish with this.One of my favorite lines from the book And then there is that moment I d never thought deeply about before until reading Peter Brook s Berlin lecture, the one where he talks about splitting open any line of Shakespeare and in doing so, releasing infinite energies This sums of Shakespeare for me Reading it is certainlychallenging than reading current literature or novels but I think ultimately its worth it because of the endless discoveries you can make


  7. Anand Anand says:

    What a splendid coverage of the Shakespeare wars a learned, highly sensible, excellent coverage of Shakespearean trends, Shakespeare himself, and Shakespeare scholarship.His analysis of the Merchant of Venice, of the three text Hamlet situation, of the endings of King Lear, of the late Shakespeare, of Shakespearean film, are all excellent.I personally like Harold Bloom and Percy Shelleythan Rosenbaum does, and I am a fan of The Merchant of Venice as a work of art And yet even where What a splendid coverage of the Shakespeare wars a learned, highly sensible, excellent coverage of Shakespearean trends, Shakespeare himself, and Shakespeare scholarship.His analysis of the Merchant of Venice, of the three text Hamlet situation, of the endings of King Lear, of the late Shakespeare, of Shakespearean film, are all excellent.I personally like Harold Bloom and Percy Shelleythan Rosenbaum does, and I am a fan of The Merchant of Venice as a work of art And yet even where I don t find myself agreeing with Rosenbaum, I always enjoy reading this book It s a work I highly recommend


  8. C B C B says:

    I m a fan of Rosenbaum s writing and every chapter has a good premise and interesting ideas, but they go on and on and I always found my attention wandering Probably will be a good book to dip into every now and then but I think sustained cover to cover reading was a mistake for me and by the end I was perilously close to skimming.Or am I just getting too old for digressions


  9. Greg Greg says:

    Good stuff Even where I disagree, I m usefully polarized.


  10. Wendy Wendy says:

    This is one of the best books on Shakespeare that I ve read yet With a title like The Shakespeare Wars , I expected it to be much concerned with biographical historical controversies about Shakespeare, but it s actually a muchinteresting look at the clashes and controversies of people responding to Shakespeare s text This book asks the questions how do we read and interpret Shakespeare, both academically and dramatically And what do these readings and interpretations tell us about why This is one of the best books on Shakespeare that I ve read yet With a title like The Shakespeare Wars , I expected it to be much concerned with biographical historical controversies about Shakespeare, but it s actually a muchinteresting look at the clashes and controversies of people responding to Shakespeare s text This book asks the questions how do we read and interpret Shakespeare, both academically and dramatically And what do these readings and interpretations tell us about why we respond to Shakespeare the way we do In other words, what makes Shakespeare Shakespeare Rosenbaum is probably the ideal person to write this book His background in English literature allows him to understand some pretty arcane academic controversies, while his training as a journalist helps him make these accessible to the general reader And he is passionate about Shakespeare Before I read this book, I would not necessarily have expected a detailed discussion of Shakespeare s spelling or a close reading of a particular sonnet to be so compelling This book makes them so Rosenbaum does make it pretty clear that, in his mind, there are right ways of studying Shakespeare and wrong ways of studying Shakespeare The wrong ways include excessive obsession with Shakespeare s biography, excessive reliance on Literary Theory, and virtually everything ever written by Harold Bloom The right ways mostly include various kinds of close textual analysis I m new enough to Shakespeare studies that I don t have a Shakespearean ideology, so I mostly find Rosenbaum s occasional dogmatism amusing If I hadfixed opinions of my own, I imagine it might grate occasionally Still, I have yet to read any other work on Shakespeare whose sheer enthusiasm was so infectious Do be warned, this is a book that will leave you with a long list of other works you need to read or reread, starting, of course, with the works of Shakespeare himself


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