A Year in Books/Day 149: The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare

  • Title: The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare
  • Edited by: Michael Dobson and Stanley Wells
  • Year Published: 2001 (Oxford University Press)
  • Year Purchased: 2001/2002
  • Source: Unknown
  • About: Everything you could want to know about Shakespeare, his works, and his era, this volume is an accompaniment to the Oxford Shakespeare. Dense, detailed and, like any encyclopedia, culled from a diverse, sometimes contradictory set of sources, it is one of the definitive texts on the king of all playwrights. It’s a cornerstone of my Shakespeare collection. Bonus points for the handsome coffee table treatment, complete with beautiful photographs and illustrations.

    English: Title page of Shakespeare's Sonnets (...

    English: Title page of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Motivation: I was that lone teen in high school English Literature class who was thrilled whenever Shakespeare showed up on the syllabus. I grew up to study Shakespearean Theatre (yep, that’s a thing). I’m still passionately keen for the Bard of Avon, whose works comprise one of my favourite linguistic and literary playgrounds.
  • Times Read: Cover-to-cover:1/As resource: countless
  • Random Excerpt/Page 482: “Translation, the rendering of Shakespeare texts into another language, is inalienably part of the process whereby Shakespeare has been, and is being, received in non-English-speaking countries. Hence Shakespeare translation has not only (1) linguistic but also (2) theatrical and cultural-even political-aspects.”
  • Happiness Scale: 10+++