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Prefaces to Shakespeare

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  31 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
When Tony Tanner died in 1998, the world lost a critic who was as sensitive a reader of Jane Austen as he was of Thomas Pynchon, and who wrote with a warmth and clarity that belied his fluency in literary theory.

In the final ten years of his life Tanner tackled the largest project any critic in English can take on writing a preface to each of Shakespeare s plays. This coll
Hardcover, 827 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Belknap Press (first published 2010)
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Dec 01, 2012 Sammy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Staggering. I so enjoy reading "complete" approaches to Shakespeare by well-read academics, particularly those like the late Tony Tanner who really want you to enjoy the works as much as they do. All too often with modern interpreters of Shakespeare, the desire is either to see the work entirely "as Shakespeare did" (a ludicrous aim that usually reveals more about the interpreter's own neuroses), or otherwise to completely reject the idea of a 1590s audience, and strive for only the bits that ar ...more
May 15, 2010 David rated it it was amazing
For the first time since his untimely death, Tony Tanner's introductions to all of Shakespeare's plays have been published collectively. All in all this constitutes a tome that is surprisingly accessible, especially when considering the depth, variety and importance of the works it encompasses.

It quickly becomes apparent that the author is as erudite and well-read as he is self-effacing. What a delight to encounter scholarship at this level which serves the subject so devotedly without, at the s
Tom Hughes
Dec 03, 2013 Tom Hughes rated it it was amazing
If you only read one book about Shakespeare's plays, this is the one. Firstly, you can just read about the plays you know, or the plays you've seen or maybe the plays you are going to see (there is a lot of Shakespeare in New York theaters this year). It's organized to make that easy -- one preface per play.

Tanner's not afraid to introduce issues that are ambiguous and hard to decipher in the plays but he does it in a way that only makes you want that much more to read the whole play through. Ho
Aug 08, 2010 JT rated it really liked it
Great resource on the plays--illuminating essays that offer new things to enjoy in the less celebrated works.
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