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Shakespearean

On Life & Language in Times of Disruption

Robert McCrum

$34.99

Hardback

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Picador
04 November 2020
Memoirs; Literary studies: poetry & poets; Shakespeare studies & criticism; Politics & government
Why do we return to Shakespeare time and again?

When Robert McCrum began his recovery from a life-changing stroke, described in My Year Off, he discovered that the only words that made sense to him were snatches of Shakespeare. Unable to travel or move as he used to, McCrum found the First Folio became his 'book of life', an endless source of inspiration through which he could embark on 'journeys of the mind', and see a reflection of our own disrupted times.

An acclaimed writer and journalist, McCrum has spent the last twenty-five years immersed in Shakespeare's work, on stage and on the page. During this prolonged exploration, Shakespeare's poetry and plays, so vivid and contemporary, have become his guide and consolation. In Shakespearean he asks: why is it that we always return to Shakespeare, particularly in times of acute crisis and dislocation? What is the key to his hold on our imagination? And why do the collected works of an Elizabethan writer continue to speak to us as if they were written yesterday?

Shakespearean is a rich, brilliant and superbly drawn portrait of an extraordinary artist, one of the greatest writers who ever lived. Through an enthralling narrative, ranging widely in time and space, McCrum seeks to understand Shakespeare within his historical context while also exploring the secrets of literary inspiration, and examining the nature of creativity itself. Witty and insightful, he makes a passionate and deeply personal case that Shakespeare's words and ideas are not just enduring in their relevance - they are nothing less than the eternal key to our shared humanity.
By:   Robert McCrum
Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 225mm,  Width: 144mm,  Spine: 41mm
Weight:   504g
ISBN:   9781509896974
ISBN 10:   150989697X
Pages:   400
Publication Date:   04 November 2020
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Robert McCrum was born and educated in Cambridge. For nearly twenty years he was editor-in-chief of the publishers Faber & Faber, until he suffered a severe stroke, the subject of his acclaimed memoir, My Year Off. From 1996 to 2009 he was literary editor of the Observer and associate editor until 2018. He is also the author of Every Third Thought (2017); Wodehouse: A Life (2004); six novels; and the co-author of the international bestseller The Story of English (1986).

Reviews for Shakespearean: On Life & Language in Times of Disruption

Wonderful and inexhaustibly fascinating -- Richard Eyre If you ever had any doubts about the relevance of Shakespeare to the modern world, read this book! -- Henry Marsh, author of <i>Do No Harm</i> Shakespearean is a brilliant, wise, elegant and profoundly moving book . . . Beautifully written, inspired and inspiring: a captivating portrait of Shakespeare and ourselves -- Joanna Kavenna, author of <i>The Ice Museum</i> Robert McCrum beautifully connects Shakespeare to ourselves in a way I've not come across before. I love his curiosity. He seems to live each day as if he's talked to Shakespeare on the phone that morning. So far, it's the best thing that has happened during lockdown.' -- Michael Grandage I can't think of anything better than listening to Robert McCrum talk about Shakespeare. And this enchanting book is the next best thing - like a gentle chat with a genuine expert. -- Sir Simon Russell Beale Shakespearean is a remarkable book, an illuminating and personal journey that takes us to the heart of Shakespeare's art and influence. From his account of the plays' quintessential Englishness to his exploration of what he shrewdly terms their 'negligent ambiguity,' McCrum's insights are hard-earned and deeply rewarding -- James Shapiro


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