The Hamlet Doctrine : Knowing Too Much, Doing Nothing
What are we to do in our information-saturated age? Do we know too much to be able to act? Have we all become Hamlet in the tragedy of modern life? In this riveting and thought-provoking re-examination of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy, philosopher Simon Critchley and psychoanalyst Jamieson Webster show that the story of Hamlet reveals more about the modern world than we might expect. It is more than a drama upon the stage - a play about nothing, no less - but a searing anatomy of the dilemma of human existence in a world that is out of joint. Who is the real hero of the play, the Prince or Ophelia? Along the way, Critchley and Webster consider the political context and stakes of Shakespeare's play, its relation to religion, the movement of desire, and the incapacity to love. Listening to writers, philosophers and analysts, they formulate the Hamlet Doctrine - when knowing too much leads only to doing nothing, rather than something. The Hamlet Doctrine is a passionate encounter with the play that affords an original look at this work of literature and the prismatic quality of the play to project meaning.
- Hardback | 288 pages
- 140 x 210 x 30mm | 464g
- 30 Sep 2013
- Verso Books
- London, United Kingdom
"Critchley and Webster's fierce, witty exploration of Hamlet makes most other writing about Shakespeare seem simple- minded." Hari Kunzru "I absolutely love the book, which I think is brilliant both as a set of readings of the play and as a meditation on contemporary existence ... A thrilling performance." David Shields, author of Reality Hunger
About Simon Critchley
SIMON CRITCHLEY is the Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. His many books include Very Little... Almost Nothing, Infinitely Demanding, The Faith of the Faithless, and The Book of Dead Philosophers. JAMIESON WEBSTER is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. She is the author of The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis. She has written for Cabinet, The New York Times, and many psychoanalytic publications. She teaches at Eugene Lang College.