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S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

Review < Back

The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson - The Winter’s Tale retold

Sunday 4th October 2015

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Towards the end of this “cover version” of The Winter’s Tale, Jeanette Winterson tells us that the play has been a “private text” for her for more than 30 years: “By that I mean part of the written wor(l)d I can’t live without; without, not in the sense of lack, but in the old sense of living outside of something.” She explains: “It’s a play about a foundling. And I am.”

This contemporary novelisation is the first in a series of reimaginings of Shakespeare’s works by prominent authors to coincide with the 400th anniversary of his death next year. There’s a mania for rewriting the classics at the moment but, as Winterson points out, Shakespeare borrowed many of his plots from other people’s – including The Winter’s Tale, whose elements came from a play by Robert Greene – so you have to imagine he would have applauded the project...

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