How Shakespeare Changed Everything

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9780061965531: How Shakespeare Changed Everything

Esquirecolumnist Stephen Marche gives an expansive and exciting look at WilliamShakespeare’s pervasive influence on every aspect of modern culture—showing ushow we can find Shakespeare even where we least expect him. In the spirit ofAlain de Botton’s How Proust Can Change Your Life,Marche reveals how Shakespeare’s influence is everywhere—from politics topsychotherapy, broadway to botany, emo teenagers to outrageous baby names, even zoology (didyou know it’s the Bard who is responsible for the starlings terrorizing NewYork City’s Central Park?). Fans of literary trivia and readers of StephenGreenblatt’s Will in the World and Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare: TheWorld as Stage will be captivated by Marche’s artful reading of how everyday can bring a fresh reading of the Immortal Bard of Avon.

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From the Back Cover:

Did you know the name Jessica was first used in The Merchant of Venice?

Or that Freud's idea of a healthy sex life came from Shakespeake?

Nearly four hundred years after his death, Shakespeare permeates our everyday lives: from the words we speak to the teenage heartthrobs we worship to the political rhetoric spewed by the twenty-four-hour news cycle.

In the pages of this wickedly clever little book, Esquire columnist Stephen Marche uncovers the hidden influence of Shakespeare in our culture, including these fascinating tidbits:

  • Shakespeare coined over 1,700 words, including hobnob, glow, lackluster, and dawn.
  • Paul Robeson's 1943 performance as Othello on Broadway was a seminal moment in black history.
  • Tolstoy wrote an entire book about Shakespeare's failures as a writer.
  • In 1936, the Nazi Party tried to claim Shakespeare as a Germanic writer.
  • Without Shakespeare, the book titles Infinite Jest, The Sound and the Fury, and Brave New World wouldn't exist.

Stephen Marche has cherry-picked the sweetest and most savory historical footnotes from Shakespeare's work and life to create this unique celebration of the greatest writer of all time.

About the Author:

STEPHEN MARCHE is a contributing editor at Esquire magazine. He also writes regular features and opinion pieces for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Walrus and elsewhere, and is a weekly contributor to CBC Radio. His books include four novels, The Hunger of the Wolf, Raymond and Hannah, Shining at the Bottom of the Sea and Love and the Mess We’re In, as well was a work of non-fiction, How Shakespeare Changed Everything. He lives in Toronto with his wife and children.

 

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