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Naming Thy Name: Cross Talk in Shakespeare's Sonnets

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Shakespeare’s sonnets are indisputably the most enigmatic and enduring love poems written in English. They also may be the most often argued-over sequence of love poems in any language to date. But what is it that continues to elude us? While it is in part the spellbinding incantations, the hide-and-seek of sound and meaning, it is also the mystery of the noble youth to wh ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 29th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2016)
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John Fredrickson
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shakespeare
For fans of the sonnets, this is a very interesting read. The author purports to have identified the fair-haired member of the love triangle, and based on the evidence she provides, I believe she has done so. She also identifies King James as the rival poet.

Some of the evidence that she provides feels like it requires too much credulity on its own, but nonetheless the overall identification feels right. The last couple of chapters get into highly speculative mode, and I hesitate to put much bel
...more
Natalie
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It was good to exercise my academic brain again.
Marianne Mason Sievers
2.5/5. No, sorry, not buying the author's argument as to the identity of the Fair Youth of the sonnets. Too much special pleading to really make a believable case.
Kristen McDermott
My review of this book appears in the February 2017 edition of Historical Novels Review:
"Elaine Scarry, a celebrated literary scholar known for her interdisciplinary approaches to the study of poetry, culture, philosophy, and art, has joined Oscar Wilde, A. L. Rowse, and many others in attempting to unmask the mysterious subject of Shakespeare’s immortal love sonnets. Her meticulous analysis of Shakespeare’s love sonnets has yielded, she argues, the long-sought-after identity of the beloved young ma
...more
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