By Ben Jeffery

Michel Houellebecq, writer of 5 novels including Atomised and Platform, has turn into in all likelihood the world’s most famed literary pessimist. His paintings announces that lifestyles is painful and disappointing, dying is terrifying, and the human situation is a foul type of comic story. He has been wildly profitable – translated into over 25 diversified languages and hailed because the voice of a new release. starting with Houellebecq’s novels, this publication explores the concept that of ‘Depressive Realism’ in literature and philosophy – the proposition that the evidence of lifestyles are bleak and unkind. Ranging over paintings through David Foster Wallace, Susan Sontag, Fredric Jameson and Margaret Atwood, Anti-Matter surveys the case for pessimism, asks how a mass tradition rooted in sentimentality and trivialisation manages to provide a lot cynicism and apathy, and hunts for the gap that is still for severe, life-affirming paintings.

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68 Yet, as many scholars now argue, to recover Shakespeare’s plays “as they were acted” is fraught with problems, and to do so by editing Shakespeare’s long play texts is doubly so. ” Henry Woudhuysen is among those who have agreed that “It is possible to argue, on textual as well as aesthetic or historical grounds, that distinct authorial versions of [Shakespeare’s] plays were produced for reading rather than performance” (“The Foundations of Shakespeare’s Text,” 99). Richard Dutton, whose first contribution to the debate over the teleology of Shakespeare’s dramatic writings was an essay arguing that he wrote for readers (see “The Birth of the Author,” in Elizabethan Theater: Essays in Honor of S.

Richard Meek, Jane Rickard, and Richard Wilson (Manchester University Press, 2008), 29–58. Shakespeare’s Literary Authorship (Cambridge University Press, 2008). ” in Classical Literary Careers and their Reception, eds. Philip Hardy and Helen Moore (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 160–78. , “Forum: The Return of the Author,” Shakespeare Studies, 36 (2008), 17–131. 1 (2012), 137–53. Donaldson, Ian, “Shakespeare, Jonson, and the Invention of the Author,” Proceedings of the British Academy: 2006 Lectures, 151 (2007), 319–38.

It would admittedly be foolish to argue that Greene is an altogether fair and disinterested commentator. Nevertheless, the passage may be of greater interest for what it tells us about the object of the attack than about the attacker. As early as 1592, Shakespeare had done enough to awaken a rival playwright’s jealousy. He was well advanced in the first tetralogy, the most ambitious project the 2 3 4 See Samuel Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life, rev. edn (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 271.

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