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Critical Approaches to Bernard Shaw

The Sagittarius Literature Digitizing Projects

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Critical Approaches to Bernard Shaw
3 min2015 NOV 17
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Sally Peters, author of the Choice award-winning biography Bernard Shaw the Ascent of the Superman (Yale University Press, cloth 1996, paper 1998), discusses the task of interpreting and writing the life history of Bernard Shaw, that unique, complex artistic genius.In this critical biography of the enigmatic man hailed as the second greatest playwright in the English language, Sally Peters explores Shaw's background and beliefs, interests and obsessions, relations with men and women, prose writings and dramatic art. Deciphering Shaw reveals a convoluted and extravagant inner life, studded with erotic secrets.Choice Outstanding Academic Book  New York Review of Books Reader's Catalogue Selection"Most interesting!  People aren't usually serious about Shaw's sexuality.  They mock it.  They indulge in banter and persiflage. Or they deny he had any sexuality to be serious about.  Sally Peters may be the first person to take a good hard look.  With, yes, most interesting results." -- Eric Bentley"Superb as thought, writing, research" --- Harold Bloom"An intriguing study, part biography and part sexual case history." -- Peter Ackroyd, The Times (London)"Inordinately rich in insight, this superb study provides the perfect antidote for those suffering from the illusion that nothing new and instructive can be said about Shaw." -- Choice"No one who writes about [Shaw] in the future will be able to do so without reference to [Peters's] findings and insights." -- Ulysses D'Aquila, Lambda Book Report"However well a student of Shaw may think he knows the works, he cannot fail to look at them in a fresh light after reading Sally Peters." -- T. F. Evans, The Independent Shavian"[The] book gives a thorough, sympathetic, and in-depth account . . . a profound critique that is certain to alter in some degree the way in which we think of Shaw. " -- Frederick P. W. McDowell, Annual of Shaw Studies"startlingly incisive, full of fresh insights." -- Publishers Weekly"fine scholarly book ... superb ... wise ... interestingly discussed ... most intriguing." The Economist (London)"fascinating ... " Jacob Molenaar, Homologie (Amsterdam)"incorporates biographical details and probing analyses of Shaw's complex, often ambivalent relationships with both men and women from childhood through old age." -- Mary Carroll, Booklist"Shaw wrote nearly a quarter-million letters, in addition to plays, essays, novels, newspaper cfriticism and broadsides, and Miss Peters has mined this rich quarry with invention and with delicious and tantalizing results. " -- Donn B. Murphy, Washington Times"very interesting and original things to say about the feminine side of Shaw's personality" -- The Tablet (London)