We celebrate Shakespeare as a creator of plays and poems, characters and ideas, words and worlds. But so too, in the four centuries since his death in 1616, have thinkers, writers, artists and performers recreated him. Readers of this book are invited to explore Shakespeare's afterlife on the stage and on the screen, in poetry, fiction, music and dance, as well as in cultural and intellectual life. A series of concise introductory essays are here combined with personal reflections by prominent contemporary practitioners of the arts. At once a celebration and a critical response, the book explores Shakespeare as a global cultural figure who continues to engage artists, audiences and readers of all kinds.
Includes contributions from: John Ashbery, Shaul Bassi, Simon Russell Beale, Sally Beamish, David Bintley, Michael Bogdanov, Kenneth Branagh, Debra Ann Byrd, John Caird, Antoni Cimolino, Wendy Cope, Gregory Doran, Margaret Drabble, Dominic Dromgoole, Ellen Geer, Michael Holroyd, Gordon Kerry, John Kinsella, Juan Carlos Liberti, Lachlan Mackinnon, David Malouf, Javier Marías, Yukio Ninagawa, Janet Suzman, Salley Vickers, Rowan Williams, Lisa Wolpe, Greg Wyatt.
'Here, in a book Stanley Wells (in his foreword) calls “a book of enthusiasms,” readers will find little academic lucubration or sententious pomp. This book's contributors exert themselves largely in praise, and the qualities of the individual writers lend imaginative power to the task. Readers will find new insights in one or more of the seven essays that make up part 1, the titles of which all begin “Shakespeare and.” These essays deal with theater, poetry, music, dance, opera, the novel, and film and television. This reviewer found the essay on music of particular interest. These chapters are followed a section of testimonials from 27 distinguished individuals who feel indebted to Shakespeare, including John Ashbery, Kenneth Branagh, Margaret Drabble, Michael Holroyd, and Rowan Williams. Though this sequence of pleasant reflections somewhat resembles a list of customer reviews on a commercial website, the views of these gifted individuals carry real weight in this book, reminding readers of Shakespeare's impact over the generations. Indira Ghose provides a brief closing chapter on Shakespeare's storytelling, and the book concludes with a sonnet by Edmondson. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.' CHOICE
'An excellent example of the kind of insight, and pleasure, that can be generated when scholars and artists think together.' Studies in English Literature 1500-1900