9780521863049

Shakespeare and the Idea of Late Writing: Authorship in the Proximity of Death

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521863049

  • ISBN10:

    052186304X

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-01-14
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Summary

What do we mean when we speak of the 'late style' of a given writer, artist or composer? And what exactly do we mean by 'late Shakespeare'? Gordon McMullan argues that, far from being a natural phenomenon common to a handful of geniuses in old age or in proximity to death, late style is in fact a critical construct. Taking Shakespeare as his exemplar, he maps the development of the 'discourse of lateness' from the eighteenth century to the present, noting not only the mismatch between that discourse and the actual conditions for authorship in early modern theatre but also its generativity for subsequent projections of creative selfhood. He thus offers the first critique of the idea of late style, which will be of interest not only to literature specialists but also to art historians, musicologists and anyone curious about the relationship of creativity to old age and to death.

Author Biography

Gordon McMullan is Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at King's College London.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Shakespeare and the idea of late writing
The Shakespearean caesura: genre, chronology, style
The invention of late Shakespeare: subjectivism and its discontents
Last words late plays: the possibility and impossibility of late Shakespeare in early modern culture and theatre
How old is 'late'?: late Shakespeare, old age, King Lear
The Tempest and the uses of late Shakespeare in the theatre: Gielgud, Rylance, Prospero
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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