Download A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of by Nina Levine, David Lee Miller PDF

By Nina Levine, David Lee Miller

Harry Berger, Jr., has lengthy been one among our such a lot respected and revered literary and cultural critics. because the overdue nineties, a flow of exceptional and cutting edge guides have proven how very large his pursuits are, relocating from Shakespeare to baroque portray, to Plato, to theories of early culture.In this quantity a extraordinary crew of students gathers to have a good time the paintings of Harry Berger, Jr. To celebrate,in Berger's phrases, is to go to anything both in nice numbers otherwise frequently-to depart and are available again, depart and are available again, leave and are available again. Celebrating is what you do the second one or 3rd time round, yet now not the 1st. To have a good time is to revisit. To revisit is to revise. social gathering is the eureka of revision.Not merely former scholars yet special colleagues and students come jointly in those pages to find Berger's eurekas-to revisit the rigor and originality of his feedback, and infrequently to revise its conclusions, throughout the enjoyment of strenuous engagement. Nineteen essays on Berger's Shakespeare, his Spenser, his Plato, and his Rembrandt, on his theories of interpretation and cultural swap and at the ethos of his serious and pedagogical kinds, open new methods to the spectacular ongoing physique of labor authored by way of Berger. An creation through the editors and an afterword by means of Berger himself position this competition of interpretation within the context of Berger's highbrow improvement and the reception of his paintings from the mid-twentieth century into the 1st decade of the twenty-first.

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Additional info for A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation

Sample text

He points out that even if Elizabethan audiences were full of illiterates and playtexts not designed to be published, still Shakespeare himself existed and wrote in a culture of reading, indeed, very wide reading, and of texts that are themselves generated out of a culture of reading, defining language via reading. Conversely, he points out all the special conditions of theatricality that go with any act of reading Shakespeare in one’s armchair, not just pale replications of a playhouse experience but a quite independent and different form of theater.

He points out that even if Elizabethan audiences were full of illiterates and playtexts not designed to be published, still Shakespeare himself existed and wrote in a culture of reading, indeed, very wide reading, and of texts that are themselves generated out of a culture of reading, defining language via reading. Conversely, he points out all the special conditions of theatricality that go with any act of reading Shakespeare in one’s armchair, not just pale replications of a playhouse experience but a quite independent and different form of theater.

The work is enthusiastic but plainspoken—the work of a ‘‘dry light’’; it is deeply skeptical but never cynical, relentlessly ironic yet always with a sense of the charity of irony. Its confidence goes along with an immense sense of play and readiness to be questioned. The criticism is pragmatic in its local attentions to particular works, scenes, and characters, yet driven by preoccupations whose sources are often mysterious. ’’ I’ve in fact always wished he’d take time to write on Kafka, but then I’d also like to read Harry Berger on Dante, Cervantes, Mary Shelley, and Lewis Carroll.

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