In 1917, Virginia and Leonard Woolf founded the Hogarth Press so publish the best new works in literature. In 2012, the project was re-launched with the mission to have Shakespeare’s works retold by acclaimed authors. The following timeline above the project and its current state.
As a lover of the bard’s tragedies and comedies, I was of course curious to read the remakes. After half of the envisaged novels have been published, it is time to draw a first conclusion.
Jeanette Winterson – The Gap of Time
A wonderful novel which sticks quite close to the original plot but succeeds in transferring it to our days. What I admired most in it is the fact that it really shows that Shakespeare’s topics are universal, not only in place but also in time.
Find the complete review here: https://missmesmerized.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/jeanette-winterson-the-gap-of-time/
Howard Jacobson – Shylock Is My Name
I was a bit disappointed by this since I could not really relate to the characters and found most of it a rather confusing.
Find the complete review here (in German): http://miss-mesmerized.blogspot.de/2016/07/howard-jaconson-shylock-is-my-name.html
Anne Tyler – Vinegar Girl
I had so much fun reading this one, it is really hilarious what Anne Tyler made out of Shakespeare’s story.
Find the complete review here (in German): https://missmesmerized.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/anne-tyler-die-stoerrische-braut/
Margaret Atwood – Hag-Seed
My most beloved play, “The Tempest”, in a completely new shape which is in no way inferior to Shakespeare’s play.
Find the complete review here: https://missmesmerized.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/margaret-atwood-hag-seed/
All in all, apart from Jacobson, I loved the novels and admire the writers’ capacity of keeping the ghost of the story but making something new out of it which works in our time. I am looking especially forward to Jo Nesbo on “Macbeth” and Gillian Flynn on “Hamlet” which are to be published in the next years.
For more information, consult the Hogarth Shakespeare page: http://hogarthshakespeare.com/
Addition November 2017:
Edward St Aubyn – Dunbar
Apart from Margaret Atwood’s novel for me so far the best re-writing of Shakespeare.
Find the complete review here: https://missmesmerized.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/edward-st-aubyn-dunbar/