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New Left Review I/32, July-August 1965


Agnes Heller

Shakespeare and History

Even if there were not a single true train of thought in Jan Kott’s collection of essays, it would still remain my favourite book on Shakespeare. [1] Shakespeare Our Contemporary. Jan Kott. Methuen 1964, 16s Kott’s technical erudition is impressive, but his intelligence is always excited by the plays themselves: he is not concerned with the mechanics of plot or even primarily with the modes of the dramatic genre, but with history and man. He does not take refuge in professional objectivity; he never separates apprehension from evaluation. He judges passionately, and so arouses passions. In me, the passions of admiration—and refusal.

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Agnes Heller, ‘Shakespeare and History’, NLR I/32: £3
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