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The Life in the Sonnets

David Fuller

DOI: 10.5040/9781472555526

ISBN: 9781847064547

A passionately argued account of the value of experience and emotion in reading Shakespeare's sonnets and of the importance of reading poetry aloud. This book is accompanied by a companion website, featuring a complete reading of all 154 Shakespeare Sonnets.

The ambitious project of the Shakespeare NOW series is to bridge the gap between 'scholarly thinking and a public audience' and 'public audience and scholarly thinking'. Scholars are encouraged to write in a way accessible to a general readership and readers to rise to the challenge and not be afraid of new ideas and the adventure they offer. There are other bridges the series is ambitious to cross: 'formal, political or theoretical boundaries' - history and philosophy, theory, and performance. English Vol. 58

Reading [Shakespeare's sonnets] aloud is demonstrated to be a focused mode of criticism. ... Fuller shows the specific vocal and emotional intricacies, flexibility, intelligence, and delicacy required for an ideal rendering. The essay should become required reading for classical actors in training and voice coaches New Theatre Quarterly

[An] exciting and unusual book . . . bold and controversial . . . a provocation, intended to dislodge us from normative expectations about critical reading, and to change . . . the way we feel towards literature, each other, and the profession of literary studies. ... [A] thrilling little book The Cambridge Quarterly

This is a passionate book: a book about passion in literature, passion for literature, and passion in critical writing. David Fuller reminds us of the emotional and sensual pleasures of poetry and reintroduces terms such as "enjoyment", "engagement" and "feeling" to our critical vocabularies. This book will deepen the reader's engagement not just with Shakespeare's sonnets but with all kinds of art - written, acoustic and visual - as Fuller shows us how to bring personal experience to bear on critical analysis.

Featured in the Times Higher Education Literature Textbook round-up.

This slim and easy-to-read volume…concludes with a brief coda that pulls things together quite nicely. Sixteenth Century Journal

The Life in the Sonnets . . . looks at the sonnets in a different fashion to that currently employed by the majority of critics . . . Fuller talks at length about their rhyme and metre, producing evidence to support his initial claim that these are poems that have been written to be read aloud. To add weight to his argument, Fuller talks of vocal techniques employed by both actors and opera singers. The Year's Work in English Studies, vol. 93