Nine Lives of William Shakespeare by Graham Holderness published last year and had some exciting and rather amusing reviews in the Times Higher Education (Book of the Week no less!) and the Daily Mail (who can forget the 'Very Saucy Life of William Shagspere'). Now the Times Literary Supplement have followed their lead and published an excellent review, praising the book and series – Shakespeare Now! – in today's edition:
'Nine Lives belongs to the Shakespeare Now! series, which is defined by its editors as “a rallying cry… for aesthetic immediacy” on the “premise that art is as much as subject as an object, less like aggregated facts and more like a fascinating person or persons”. Graham Holderness’s fictional experiments serve that argument in that they abandon the posture of objectivity, but more essentially in their enjoyment of the escape. He is scrupulous about the facts, but denies that “the more data we possess, the more solid and dependable will be our understanding of the life”, and instead offers Shakespeare biography as an exercise in negative capability: a form of storytelling which knows that, beyond interpretation, “Shakespeare keeps his silence”’.
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