The Great William: Writers Reading Shakespeare by Theodore LeinwandThe Great William: Writers Reading Shakespeare by Theodore Leinwand

The Great William: Writers Reading Shakespeare

byTheodore Leinwand

Paperback | November 16, 2017

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The Great William is the first book to explore how seven renowned writers—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Virginia Woolf, Charles Olson, John Berryman, Allen Ginsberg, and Ted Hughes—wrestled with Shakespeare in the very moments when they were reading his work. What emerges is a constellation of remarkable intellectual and emotional encounters.

Theodore Leinwand builds impressively detailed accounts of these writers’ experiences through their marginalia, lectures, letters, journals, and reading notes. We learn why Woolf associated reading Shakespeare with her brother Thoby, and what Ginsberg meant when referring to the mouth feel of Shakespeare’s verse. From Hughes’s attempts to find a “skeleton key” to all of Shakespeare’s plays to Berryman’s tormented efforts to edit King Lear, Leinwand reveals the palpable energy and conviction with which these seven writers engaged with Shakespeare, their moments of utter self-confidence and profound vexation. In uncovering these intense public and private reactions, The Great William connects major writers’ hitherto unremarked scenes of reading Shakespeare with our own.
Theodore Leinwand is emeritus professor of English at the University of Maryland. He is the author of The City Staged and Theatre, Finance, and Society in Early Modern England, as well as a consulting editor for Shakespeare Quarterly.
Title:The Great William: Writers Reading ShakespeareFormat:PaperbackDimensions:239 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:November 16, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022652762X

ISBN - 13:9780226527628


Table of Contents


Chapter I Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Impelling Thoughts” about Shakespeare
Chapter II John Keats on Sitting Down to Read Shakespeare Once Again
Chapter III Virginia Woolf Reads “the Great William”
Chapter IV Charles Olson’s “Objectist Shakespeare”
Chapter V John Berryman’s Shakespeare / Shakespeare’s John Berryman
Chapter VI Allen Ginsberg on Shakespeare’s Funny Mouthings
Chapter VII Ted Hughes Reads the Complete Shakespeare


Editorial Reviews

"Leinwand's attention. . .an attention that is intimate, subtle, mercurial, and scrupulously scholarly--gives a quickened texture to this fascinating, moving book."