How Shakespeare Changed Everything
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.
"An ambitious and entertaining new book...[How Shakespeare Changed Everything] explores the many, often unsuspected ways in which the great playwright shaped just about every facet of contemporary culture."--Maria Popova, BrainPickings.com
Stephen Marche is a novelist who also writes for newspapers and magazines. He currently writes a monthly column for Esquire magazine about culture. Ten years ago, he chose Shakespeare as the subject of his Ph.D. because, he believed, Shakespeare would never bore him. He was correct. The best gig he ever had was as a professor of Renaissance Drama at the City College of New York, which he quit in 2007 to write full time. Visit his website at www.StephenMarche.com