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Stay, Illusion! The Hamlet Doctrine

ISBN-10: 0307950484
ISBN-13: 9780307950482
Edition: N/A
List price: $18.95 Buy it from $14.18
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Description: The figure of Hamlet haunts our culture like the ghost haunts Shakespeare’s melancholy Dane. Arguably, no literary work is more familiar to us. Everyone knows at least six words from Hamlet, and most people know many more. Yet the play—Shakespeare’s  More...

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Book details

List price: $18.95
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/22/2014
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

The figure of Hamlet haunts our culture like the ghost haunts Shakespeare’s melancholy Dane. Arguably, no literary work is more familiar to us. Everyone knows at least six words from Hamlet, and most people know many more. Yet the play—Shakespeare’s longest—is more than “passing strange,” and it becomes even more complex when considered closely.  Reading Hamlet alongside other writers, philosophers, and psychoanalysts—Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, Freud, Lacan, Nietzsche, Melville, and Joyce—Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster go in search of a particularly modern drama that is as much about ourselves as it is a product of Shakespeare’s imagination. They also offer a startling interpretation of the action onstage: it is structured around “nothing”—or, in the enigmatic words of the player queen, “it nothing must.” From the illusion of theater and the spectacle of statecraft to the psychological interplay of inhibition and emotion, Hamlet discloses the modern paradox of our lives: how thought and action seem to pull against each other, the one annulling the possibility of the other. As a counterweight to Hamlet’s melancholy paralysis, Ophelia emerges as the play’s true hero. In her madness, she lives the love of which Hamlet is incapable. Avoiding the customary clichés about the timelessness of the Bard, Critchley and Webster show the timely power of Hamlet to cast light on the intractable dilemmas of human existence in a world that is rotten and out of joint.

English philosopher Simon Critchley was born on February 27, 1960. He earned his BA (1985) and PhD (1988) from the University of Essex in England. Critchley received his M.Phil. from France's University of Nice in 1987. Critchley has held university fellow, lecturer, reader, and professor positions and was the Director of the Centre for Theoretical Studies at the University of Essex. Additionally, Critchley was President of the British Society for Phenomenology from 1994-1999, he held a Humboldt Research Fellowship in Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt, and was Programme Director of the Coll�ge International de Philosophie. Since 2004 Critchley has taught philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York. Critchley's publications include "The Ethics of Deconstruction: Derrida and Levinas," the collection of essays "Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity," "Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction," "On Humour," "Things Merely Are," "Infinitely Demanding," and the New York Times bestseller "The Book of Dead Philosophers".

Jamieson Webster, PhD, is a psychoanalyst in New York City. She teaches at Eugene Lang College and New York University. Her work focuses on clinical and theoretical psychoanalysis with an interdisciplinary focus on feminine sexuality, philosophy, and aesthetics.

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