Friday, December 26, 2008

After Shakespeare After All

Garber, Marjorie. Shakespeare and Modern Culture. New York: Pantheon, 2008.

The New York Times recently reviewed Marjorie Garber's new book, and it sounds very interesting, despite the mixed critique the article gives it. Her previous book, Shakespeare After All, is enormous—and well worth reading (which isn't to say I've finished it). Like Harold Bloom's The Invention of the Human, Garber considers each of the plays in turn in that copious volume.

In this book, she deals with ten plays. According to the review, the scope is enormous. It also indicates something of its thesis:
Shakespeare and Modern Culture is founded on proving the truth of a mind-bending formulation, that “Shakespeare makes modern culture and modern culture makes Shakespeare.” The history of the plays as they have been performed and debated across the centuries is “the story of a set of mutual crossings and recrossings across genres, times and modes.” The book’s overarching idea derives from the rhetorical device known as chiasmus, or “crossing of words”—the theoretical two-way street illustrated by that phrase about Shakespeare both making and being made.
It's intriguing, and I'm asking my library to buy it for me (as a late Christmas gift). Any book that quotes from Dire Straits and Ali MacGraw— well, from Dire Straits, at least—is all right it my book.

Click below to purchase the book from
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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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