Thursday, 3 May 2007

Shakespeare Now! A Shakespearean Doubleshot

Latest from Austin, Texas, on a Shakespeare Now! event from the Austinist ...

It's like "Two for Tuesday," but on Wednesday. And instead of classic rock gold, there are two books about a centuries-dead playwright. Still, it's fresher than Foghat. On 25th April Intellectual Property in Austin, Texas, hosted UT English Professors Douglas Bruster and Eric Mallin as they presented their works in the Shakespeare Now! series, a collection of books that take an unconventional approach to various aspects of the Bard and his works.

To Be or Not To Be is Bruster's thorough investigation of what is perhaps the most famous soliloquy within the Shakespearean canon. Bruster arrives at a clearer understanding of the oft-quoted passage's complexity and meaning by examining aspects of its form and content. Mallin's Godless Shakespeare addresses the palpable lack of God within Shakespeare's plays. Mallin arranges his work in three parts -taking structural cues from Dante's Divine Comedy- and deftly traverses the distance from expressions of religious faith in part one to latent expressions of godlessness in part three. Whether you consider yourself a casual literary enthusiast or an ardent Shakespeare geek, these slender volumes are full of provocative insights on the man and his work.