William R. Kenan, Jr.,
Professor of English and of Visual and Environmental Studies Harvard University
The title of this collection,
Profiling Shakespeare, is meant strongly in its double sense. These essays show the outline of a Shakespeare rather different from the man sought by biographers from his time to our own. They also show the effects, the ephemera, the clues and cues, welcome and unwelcome, out of which Shakespeare's admirers and dedicated scholars have pieced together a vision of the playwright, whether as sage, psychologist, lover, theatrical entrepreneur, or moral authority. This collection brings together classic pieces, hard-to-find chapters, and two new essays. Here, Garber has produced a book at once serious and highly readable, ranging broadly across time periods (early modern and post modern) and touching upon both high and popular culture.
Profiling Shakespeare gives us Marjorie Garber at her perceptive, witty, and elegant best. The essays making up this book are subtle, sophisticated, and always surprising, making us see with fresh eyes what we thought we already knew and letting us see for the first time so much that we have missed, both about Shakespeare about which we care so passionately and the complex sources of that passion.
David Scott Kastan, Columbia University
Profiling Shakespeare is vintage Garber: incisive, brilliant, inimitable. It is an essential read for anyone at all interested in how and why Shakespeare matters.
James Shapiro, author of A Year in the Life of Shakespeare 1599
This is a seminal collection of Marjorie Garber’s wonderful essays on Shakespeare, the most original, provocative and sane voice in an age of critical extravagance. There are both classics here ‘Shakespeare as Fetish’ and 'Shakespeare’s Ghost Writers,’ and new work; all reveal a continuously active, perceptive and generous intelligence. The volume is essential.
Stephen Orgel, Stanford University
Witty and iconoclastic, Marjorie Garber’s
Profiling Shakespeare incisively reveals the role critics play in constructing the Shakespeare they revere. In the process, Garber once again displays the passsion and acuity that have made her one of America’s most admired readers of Shakespeare’s plays and of the current cultural scene.
Jean E. Howard, author of Theater of a the City; The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642 and co-editor of The Norton Shakespeare
This collection of essays by Marjorie Garber – some classic, some new to print – reminds us of why she is so indispensable as a Shakespeare critic. She combines a genuine love for the works with a bracing skepticism about ‘the Shakespeare effect’, that chimerical sensation that Shakespeare the man speaks directly to us and our time. What I might term the ‘Garber effect’ is one of admiration for her wit and brilliance as a cultural critic, for the readability of her prose, for her unstoppable intellectual energy, and for her surprising yet compelling readings of the plays and their long afterlives.
Gail Kern Paster, Director, Folger Shakespeare Library
Marjorie Garber is our most illuminating commentator on the importance of anachronism and play. Her brilliant essays give us a Shakespeare who cannot be consigned to the dead past, a ghost who continues to shape our futures.
Peter Stallybrass, University of Pennsylvania