Living with Shakespeare: Essays
by Writers, Actors, and Directors
Edited by Susannah Carson
This compilation of essays includes essays from 38 contributors (including Jane Smiley, Maxine Hong Kingston, Ralph Fiennes, James Franco, James Earl Jones, and Ben Kingsley), and aims to break down the often intimidating distance between Shakespeare experts and the general reader.
Essays run the gamut between a questioning of Shakespeare's relation to the world around him, as seen in David Farr's examination of Shakespeare's writings on the sea, to personal relationships and anecdotes about how the bard has touched the lives of the contributors, as seen in James Franco's thrice removed Shakespeare inspirations.
The essayists occasionally contradict one another, but rather than providing an annoyance, these difference further provoke further thought from the reader. We at Nebraska Shakespeare think this is a title worth picking up
Why Shakespeare? What explains our continued fascination with his poems and plays? In Living with Shakespeare, Susannah Carson invites forty actors, directors, scholars, and writers to reflect on why his work is still such a vital part of our culture.
We hear from James Earl Jones on reclaiming Othello as a tragic hero, Julie Taymor on turning Prospero into Prospera, Camille Paglia on teaching the plays to actors, F. Murray Abraham on gaining an audience’s sympathy for Shylock, Sir Ben Kingsley on communicating Shakespeare’s ideas through performance, Germaine Greer on the playwright’s home life, Dame Harriet Walter on the complexity of his heroines, Brian Cox on social conflict in his time and ours, Jane Smiley on transposing King Lear to Iowa in A Thousand Acres, and Sir Antony Sher on feeling at home in Shakespeare’s language. Together these essays provide a fresh appreciation of Shakespeare’s works as a living legacy to be read, seen, performed, adapted, revised, wrestled with, and embraced by creative professionals and lay enthusiasts alike.
F. Murray Abraham ● Isabel Allende ● Cicely Berry ● Eve Best ● Eleanor Brown ● Stanley Cavell ● Karin Coonrod ● Brian Cox ● Peter David ● Margaret Drabble ● Dominic Dromgoole ● David Farr ● Fiasco Theater ● Ralph Fiennes ● Angus Fletcher ● James Franco ● Alan Gordon ● Germaine Greer ● Barry John ● James Earl Jones ● Sir Ben Kingsley ● Maxine Hong Kingston ● Rory Kinnear ● J. D. McClatchy ● Conor McCreery ● Tobias Menzies ● Joyce Carol Oates ● Camille Paglia ● James Prosek ● Richard Scholar ● Sir Antony Sher ● Jane Smiley ● Matt Sturges ● Julie Taymor ● Eamonn Walker ● Dame Harriet Walter ● Bill Willingham ● Jess Winfield
"LIVING WITH SHAKESPEARE: Essays by Writers, Actors and Directors." Introduction and compilation copyright © 2013 by Susannah Carson. Forward copyright © 2013 by Harold Bloom. All rights reserved.