Sunday, October 10, 2004

Verbal tics

Anthony Holden takes the words right out of my mouth in his Observer review of Will in the World and Secret Shakespeare: "Irritated by [Greenblatt's] chummy habit of calling his subject 'Will', I found my blue pencil also circling his high index of 'may well's, 'could have's, 'no doubt's and 'likely's - three or four to the average page. This may be an occupational hazard of Shakespeare biography, but there are writerly ways around allowing it to become so intrusive. Such nitpicks apart, this suave book deserves to become a standard work in the scholarly tradition of the Victorian critic Edward Dowden, offering an elegant summation of the current state of an evolving art."

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