The figure of Hamlet haunts our culture like the Ghost haunts him. Arguably, literary work, t even the Bible, is more familiar to us than Shakespeare's Hamlet. Everyone kws at least six words from the play; often people kw many more. Yet the play--Shakespeare's longest--is more than passing strange and becomes deeply unfamiliar when considered closely. Reading Hamlet alongside other writers, philosophers, and psychoanalysts--Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, Freud, Lacan, Nietzsche, Melville, and Joyce--Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster consider the political context and stakes of Shakespeare's play, its relation to religion, the movement of desire, and the incapacity to love.
Simon Critchley is Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. His many books include Very Little . . . Almost Nothing, The Faith of the Faithless, and The Book of Dead Philosophers. He is the series moderator of The Stone, a philosophy column in The New York Times, to which he is a frequent contributor. Jamieson Webster is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. She is the author of The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis and has written for The Aesthete, Apology, Cabinet, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Playboy, The New York Times, and many psychoanalytic publications. She teaches at Eugene Lang College at the New School and supervises doctoral students in clinical psychology at the City University of New York.
Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy Simon Critchley, Jamieson Webster