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Shakespeare: A Life
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 22. Juni 1999
What a sad, resourceless bunch of readers your lay reviwers are. The author makes plain at the start the remit of his book, to eschew the romantic speculation about the `bard's' life in favour of a meticulous examination of the facts. This does not make the book `booring,' far from it. If you want cheap thrills, stick to Star Wars. For the intelligent lay-reader with half a brain, this book take a little while to get into, but the effort is well worth it, repaid by insight into London at that time, the theatrical world (in London)and much, much more. I found it enriched my understanding of a much-discussed, much-mythologised figure. Ignore the carpers. Top banana.
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am 26. Januar 2000
After the standard non-bio (we know so little about him, etc) offered during my school years, this detailed and solid account of Shakespeare comes as an entertaining surprise. Obviously there's been a lot unearthed about Shakespeare's life just since the short time I last visited Stratford. Honan's book is especially interesting for the myths it dispels about the Bard. He seems to have been a surprisingly down to earth man, good natured, aware of his talent but by no means filled with an overweaning sense of greatness the way later artists would be. Superb overall.
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am 22. April 2000
Perhaps scholars on the subject of William Shakespeare have some legitimate criticisms to make of certain details and comments in Honan's book. Frankly, I couldn't care less. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, learned a great deal from it, and now plan to read or re-read other books on the same (general) subject. Given the popularity of two recent films, Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love, I must assume that there are many other readers who would also appreciate having an especially well-informed, charming, and energetic companion during a journey back in time to Elizabethan England. Yes, this is a biography of Shakespeare...but more, much more.
Following a List of Illustrations (which are excellent), an Introduction, and A Note on Conventions Used in the Text, Honan divides his book into for parts:
I. A Stratford Youth
II. Actor and Poet of the London Stage
III. The Maturity of Genius
IV. The Last Phase
At this point in my brief commentary, I want to stress that Honan's writing style is semi-formal but reader-friendly. His prose shares many of the same strengths evident in the works of other authors such as Alistair Cooke, E.B. White, and Charles Kuralt.
The world in which Shakespeare lived and worked was one of the most interesting throughout human history. Honan includes a wealth of social, political, and cultural information about that age in combination with anecdotes, gossip, speculations and conjectures, correlation's between Shakespeare's works and the details in his life, etc. What were Shakespeare's probable circumstances during his childhood and youth in Stratford? What was it like to live in London, especially when that walled city was ravaged by plague? Who attended live performances? When? Where? How were those performances financed? Who was Shakespeare's competitors for recognition and reward? Why did Shakespeare eventually retire to Stratford? What are the probable circumstances of the years there prior to his death in 1616? (Cervantes died on the same day in the same year.) Honan suggests answers to these and hundreds of other questions you may also have about Shakespeare and his age.
Is this the best biography of Shakespeare written thus far? I am unqualified to respond. Is this one of the most entertaining and most informative books I have read about a major figure in the history of western civilization? You bet. It does not "read like a novel" nor was it intended to. If you desire an "easy" read on this subject, try another source (eg Shakespeare for Dummies, Chicken Soup for Elizabethans). But if you want to make that "journey" back in time and would appreciate having an erudite, charming companion while you explore the many worlds in which William Shakespeare lived and worked, Park Honan would be an excellent choice. What about his fee? The cost of this wonderful book.
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am 12. Juli 1999
The first bio of Shakespeare I've actually been able to finish! Honan's approach is reasonable, intelligent, and well-researched. It also happens to be quite interesting, providing not only the best and most tantalizing of the available evidence of Shakespeare's life, but also by painting a portrait of the milieu in which he lived and worked. Never before has Shakespeare's achievement seemed so towering, and yet so human. Much better by far than Bloom's bloated and self-serving paean. Although slightly marred by Honan's quirky style, and by the mysterious sudden disappearance from the narrative of Anne (Hathaway) Shakespeare before the poet's death, it nonetheless held me in thrall all weekend. I hate the phrase, but it's a definite "must-read"!
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am 7. Mai 1999
An excellent and as thoroughly as possible knowable account (for now), of the Bards life. Scholarly, and sometimes dense, but accessible and an enjoyable pleasure for the well-read in literature, Shakespeare, the theatre, etc.; especially those finding delight in the details. It does, however, lack the passion of Blooms's "Shakespeare, The Invention of the Human". The latter book which draws on Shakespeare's plays exclusively and exhaustively soars with soul-deep passion to great heights of pure joy in the expression of Shakespeare's words, emotion and humanism. Bloom's Shakespeare, if you have the time and interest, is a 5-star book. Well worth it actually even if you only delve into some of the plays.
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am 26. März 1999
This book was not written for the faint of heart. Long plane trips and idle vacation time is all that allowed me to finish it. It does dwell on the public record and factual evidence, and only guesses at the subject's state of mind in a very guarded way. I appreciate this tentativeness. However, take detailed notes and carry an unabridged dictionary with you to enable you to follow the author from page to page. A detailed knowledge of 16th and 17th century English language usage wouldn't hurt either.
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
Honan does much to firmly establish William Shakespeare as a solid citizen (if also tax dodger). He gives no handle at all to those who would charge him with homosexuality or even adultery and offers plausible explanations for many disputed aspects of the poet's life. But it is a dreadfully lifeless, plodding, life. It takes a really strong prior interest in Shakespeare to persevere through this book. Those coming first to Shakespeare should avoid it, unless they themselves are doing research and need an excellent guide to sources and interpretation thereof.
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am 14. März 2000
As a general reader, I found this book very disappointing. The blurb calls it a "complete, accurate . . . narrative of Shakespeare's life." There are not enough facts or continuity to call it a narrative. It's more of a web of suppositions. The logic seems to be: the plays suggest an educated man; so Shakespeare must have been educated. Some plays suggest a sensitive man; so Shakespeare must have been sensitive. There were smart people living in London at the time; so Shakespeare must have known some smart people.
As for reliability: According to the totally unsupported words of a man who lived 100 years later, Shakespeare went to a Latin Grammar school. Our author ingenously says, "we have no reason to discredit (his) words," adds an endnote which says that there was a Latin Grammar school in the county, and then writes pages and pages on what it "would have been like" to go to such a school.
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am 2. April 1999
If you are going to read a book it better be this one! It is so captivatingly interesting and the life of the bard was the most interesting thing I have ever read about. Buy It!
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am 12. Mai 1999
The sad fact is, like Jesus, we don't know a lot about Shakespeare-and this title demonstrates it. Read it only if you have an academic-level interest in the subject and want lots of conjecture regarding what WS *might* have done. Many, many digressions; much speculation; some good insights regarding bases for the plays and sonnets. No doubt written by a respected, committed scholar. Nnot for the casual reader who desires lay-level understanding.
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