By Nina Levine, David Lee Miller
Harry Berger, Jr., has lengthy been certainly one of our such a lot respected and revered literary and cultural critics. because the past due nineties, a move of outstanding and leading edge courses have proven how very vast his pursuits are, relocating from Shakespeare to baroque portray, to Plato, to theories of early culture.In this quantity a wonderful crew of students gathers to rejoice the paintings of Harry Berger, Jr. To celebrate,in Berger's phrases, is to go to anything both in nice numbers in any other case frequently-to depart and are available again, leave and are available again, depart and are available again. Celebrating is what you do the second one or 3rd time round, yet now not the 1st. To have fun is to revisit. To revisit is to revise. social gathering is the eureka of revision.Not in simple terms former scholars yet exceptional colleagues and students come jointly in those pages to find Berger's eurekas-to revisit the rigor and originality of his feedback, and sometimes 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 switch and at the ethos of his serious and pedagogical kinds, open new ways to the miraculous ongoing physique of labor authored via Berger. An creation via the editors and an afterword through 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 resources for A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation
I had actually done the blocking for ﬁght scenes, performed long speeches before dozens of inattentive audiences, worried about the relative merits of leko and fresnel, sung ‘‘Tit-willow’’ next to a three-hundred-pound Katisha: surely that ought to have a payoff in the literary imagining of Shakespeare. But the truth is that I didn’t like most of what I was reading in theatrical criticism of Shakespeare, and I saw no way that I could do it better. There was descriptive theatrical history, which was analytically undernourished and which was based on a ‘‘text’’ that was insufﬁciently recapturable and tangled up tautologically in such interpretive arguments as were being made.
10 The tone of the writing here is as important as the arguments. One often feels, as in reading Kenneth Burke and William Empson, a novelist’s realism and satirical edge in Berger’s descriptions of the motives, strategies, and situations of particular characters, even as he is rendering their declared intentions suspect. He has a dramatist’s sense of the signifying gesture and an ear for what is not said or might be said concealed below (or sticking to) what is said in a particular utterance—you often feel him calculating the mysterious, sometimes bitter, sometimes comic intersections of self-knowledge and self-blindness in what speakers say.
In brief: my whole professional life has been characterized by various multiple personalities. The particular one that afﬂicted me the earliest and the longest was between doing literary scholarship and doing theater. The most striking quality of this opposition was how completely separate I tended to keep my identities. At the same moment that I was writing a dissertation (and thence a book) in which, probably, the word ‘‘theater’’ was never mentioned, I was playing hooky from graduate school, from assistant professor and associate professorhood, by working as an actor and a director.
A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation by Nina Levine, David Lee Miller