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eBook Me and Shakespeare: Adventures with the Bard epub

by Herman Gollob

eBook Me and Shakespeare: Adventures with the Bard epub
  • ISBN: 0385498187
  • Author: Herman Gollob
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Subcategory: History & Criticism
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Anchor (September 9, 2003)
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • ePUB size: 1541 kb
  • FB2 size 1266 kb
  • Formats azw rtf lrf docx


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Me and Shakespeare book. The experience proved so One man’s post-retirement passion for the works of history's greatest literary genius becomes an inspiring intellectual and spiritual adventure-and a lesson in the ageless wisdom to be found in literature.

On the eve of retiring from a successful publishing career, Herman Gollob attends a wonderful Broadway production of Hamlet starring Ralph Fiennes.

Gollob’s quest leads him to Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-on-Avon; to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, . to a summer course on Shakespeare at Oxford; and to London’s recently rebuilt Globe Theatre. As he pursues his glorious new obsession, Gollob reflects on his family’s bittersweet history, his encounters with writers, and the emergence of a Jewish identity that inspires some original ideas about Shakespeare’s plays. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 9 сент.

Me and Shakespeare - Herman Gollob. An average book that is made special by the author's passion for Shakespeare. During his study of Shakespeare, Gollob began teaching Shakespeare to seniors at the local community college in New Jersey where he lives. He also went to Oxford University in England to study Shakespeare for three weeks. While he was there, he was required to write a paper on Shakespeare, so Gollob started writing about the Jewish themes in King Lear.

Me and Shakespeare: Adventures With the Bard. In relating this tale of an autodidact's progress, Gollob interweaves his rich family history, personal experience, and past meetings with the great and notorious, including Orson Welles, James Jones, Lee Marvin, Frank Sinatra, Donald Barthelme, James Clavell, Dan Jenkins, Willie Morris, and a host of others. Like Great Books by David Denby, Me and Shakespeare is a memoir that attests to the lifelong power of literature to enrich, enlarge, and exalt. It is, as well, one of the most entertaining and unusual books on Shakespeare ever written.

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View on timesmachine. Adventures With the Bard

View on timesmachine. Adventures With the Bard.

To his classes (and readers of this engrossing if overeager memoir), Gollob stresses Shakespeare’s warnings against putting the head before the heart, so ’tis odd how the galvanized aficionado in Gollob finally gives way to the pedant

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On the eve of retiring from a successful publishing career, Herman Gollob attends a wonderful Broadway production of Hamlet starring Ralph Fiennes. Galvanized by the splendor of the language, the drama and the acting, he discovers an insatiable passion for all things Shakespeare. He reads broadly and deeply about the plays, discusses them with some of the great actors, directors, and teachers of our time, and soon finds himself teaching a popular Shakespeare class at a small New Jersey college. Gollob’s quest leads him to Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-on-Avon; to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.; to a summer course on Shakespeare at Oxford; and to London’s recently rebuilt Globe Theatre. As he pursues his glorious new obsession, Gollob reflects on his family’s bittersweet history, his encounters with writers, and the emergence of a Jewish identity that inspires some original ideas about Shakespeare’s plays. Me and Shakespeare is a joyful memoir that attests to the power of literature to re-invigorate our lives at any age.
Comments: (7)
Cordanara
Gollob offers a lot of personal biography here, but then so do Greenblatt and Bloom, Greenblatt about the "real and regular guy" Shakespeare was and Bloom about his own genius and unassailable good taste. But what's most notable about Gollob's enthusiasm for Shakespeare is that he puts his finger on what the plays are all about: language. Reading (and seeing) Shakespeare is not primarily about remembering plots, drawing concrete and fixed images of characters, or extracting nuggets of moral wisdom: it's all about spotting and being able to deal with "irony, antithesis, and ambiguity" (I would challenge him a bit on this last term. Shakespeare's language is perpetually "in play" but not necessarily ambiguous). If Gollob can get his students to buy such an approach, additionally making them comfortable with meanings that are not only elusive but constantly in motion and open to change, my hat's off to him as a teacher. We could use many more like him in a culture that prefers fixed certainties in black and white.

Where the late-arriving teacher falls a bit short, not as a teacher but a critic, is in his over-reliance on the "Western eye" (Camille Paglia's term for an Apollonian heroic perspective). Hotspur, he tells us, is his favorite character in Henry IV,Pt.1, and moreover the play's great hero whereas Falstaff is a gross, cowardly drunk with little to no redeeming qualities. Much of his evidence is based not on the language of the world's first great existentialist thinker but on the portly character's physical actions on stage (hauling Hotspur's corpse offstage). What would we think, the author asks, if Falstaff carried on this way at the Viet Nam War Memorial? Gratuitously, the author tells us that his enthralled elderhostel students agreed with him (sadly, I must report that college students these days are equally unimpressed by Falstaff).

So in the final analysis we do need Harold Bloom, not only to affirm my first love affair with a Shakespeare character, but to remind us of why Falstaff is so much bigger than either his own girth or the arms of modern-day critics who try to put him in his place (he's far too protean and multi-dimensional for that). We certainly don't need any more war-hungry, anachronistic "heroes" like Coppola's Captain Kilgore, getting their highs from the smell of napalm and honor-sanctioned blood lust. A close reading of Shakespeare reveals that, even in Henry V, he's not about to swallow a shining lie, however bright.
Melipra
This is a great read that took me back to the Virginia Military Institute and my first real introduction to Shakespeare before heading to London my junior year and becoming immersed in all things Bard. Highly-recommended! Gollub's passion shows.
Weernis
What a wonderfully delightful book. Usually I am a speed-reader, but for this one I need to read almost every page because the writing and content are just so enjoyable.
Kirizius
Late in life an editor at a big time New York publisher becomes infatuated with Shakespeare after seeing an electrifying version of Hamlet on stage. He begins a scholar' s oddysey which will take him to Oxford, London and Stratford in search of the Bard.
While Gollub is able to convey his enthusiasm fir the Bard, he also gets bogged down in a lot of nit picking critique of the plays. He also drops a lot of celebrity names --Frank Sinatra makes a brief appearance, as do most of the American Writers of the 20th Century--though he also mentions some writers I was moved to discover on his recommendations.
Recommended.
Orll
Upon his retirement from a career in book publishing, Herman Gollob (b. 1930) immersed himself in the plays of Shakespeare. In ME AND SHAKESPEARE, Gollob writes about his adventures with the Bard, intermixed with generous doses of memoir. To be sure, in the book's title "Me" precedes "Shakespeare", but I would have preferred somewhat less memoir, somewhat less "me".

Nonetheless, I found ME AND SHAKESPEARE moderately engaging, in part because I had just finished reading Shakespeare's plays, a project undertaken in my own retirement. Gollob, though, devoted himself to Shakespeare much more thoroughly and single-mindedly than simply reading the plays. He reports on reading not only the plays but also secondary literature about them and about staging/performing them. He goes to performances in person and watches them on film; he spends two days at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., enhanced by special access to the reading rooms; he takes an intensive three-week course at Oxford; he attends a performance of "Hamlet" at the Globe Theater in London; he interviews a number of accomplished people -- actors, directors, producers, acting coaches -- from the world of Shakespearean theater; and he himself teaches several courses on Shakespeare's plays in an adult education program at Caldwell College in New Jersey. That synopsis might sound rather boring, and with many authors it surely would be, but Gollob relates his adventures with the Bard with considerable panache.

I would have profited from his adult education courses (in particular, with regard to the plays "Titus Andronicus" and "Troilus and Cressida"). As it was, I learned a fair amount from the book. Gollob persuades me that one of the principal dichotomies of Shakespeare is the conflict between heart and mind (or intellect), and that for Shakespeare much of the evil in the world is perpetrated by those who develop the intellect at the expense of the heart, those who are too rational. Perhaps even more informative for me than Gollob's takes on Shakespeare interpretation were his discussions on Shakespeare performance. I now will have to view some of the DVDs mentioned in it.

I also enjoyed some of Gollob's stories from his publishing career -- especially anecdotes about interactions with figures of note such as Dan Jenkins, Willie Morris, Donald Barthelme, Orson Welles, and Lee Marvin (Gollob served as editor for the first three). But for the most part, I only tolerated (as opposed to enjoyed) the considerable parts of the book that do not deal with Shakespeare -- especially the extended portraits of Gollob's parents and the story of his relationship with Judaism, a story so tightly interwoven into this book that it is the weft to the warp of Shakespeare.
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