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Must do’s: What we like this week


Two outsiders to the world of Shakespeare criticism have penned “Stay, Illusion!: The Hamlet Doctrine,” a slim volume on that well-known dark prince of Danes. Laura Miller deems it as "such a treat:"

The authors — a philosophy professor and a psychoanalyst who are married to each other — claim no special expertise and argue no ironclad theory. They investigate, speculate and propose. “We are outsiders to the world of Shakespeare criticism,” they write, and the thinkers they have chosen to respond to (Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, Hegel, Freud, Jacques Lacan and Nietzsche) are (arguably) peripheral to the field as well. The result is a slim volume on “Hamlet” that this reader found more invigorating than many a more rigorous work. All you need to engage with it is a modest acquaintance with the play and an open mind. Each of the short chapters in “Stay, Illusion!” is a springy diving board poised over a deep pool of thought. Find one you like the looks of, bounce a bit, then plunge in.

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