Shakespeare Erzählt (Shakespeare Told) – Michael Köhlmeier

Michael Köhlmeier is an Austrian writer. He’s mostly famous for his retelling of classic stories, like the stories from the bible, the greek myths, the Nibelungen or, as in this case, Shakespeare’s plays. He has written novels and plays and short stories as well and he has made some CDs, on one of which he’s singing in Vorarlbergerisch. (That’s the Austrian dialect spoken in Vorarlberg, the west of Austria. It is really close to Swiss German.)

Anyway, what I read was Shakespeare erzählt. Köhlmeier took 11 of Shakespeare’s plays (Macbeth, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, …) and retold them. But he didn’t just change the form from plays to short stories, he also added his own interpretations of the characters and the events.
You may agree with those interpretations, or you may not. But I think it’s a wonderful and very private thing to share.

And if you are able to share those and deliver them in beautiful prose, as Köhlmeier is able to do, then it’s perfect. A wonderful read.

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