Clive Sinclair was a valued contributor to Contrappasso. His final book is now available from Halban Publishers.
Here is the blurb:
Since his first public appearance in the late 1590s, Shylock has been synonymous with antisemitism. Many of his bon mots remain common currency with Jew-haters; among them “3000 ducats” and the immortal “pound of flesh”. But Shakespeare, being Shakespeare, was incapable of inventing anyone so uninteresting; instead he affords Shylock such ambiguity that some of his other lines have become keynotes for believers in shared humanity and tolerance.
Following Shakespeare’s example these stories – all inspired by The Merchant of Venice – range from the comic to the melancholic. Many pivot on significant productions of the play: Stockholm in 1944, London in 2012, and Venice in 2016. Some are concerned with domestic matters, others with the political, including one – more outrageous than the others – that links Shylock via Israel with the American presidency; most combine both.
Running through these linked stories – of which there are seven, like the ages of man – is the cycle of family life, with all its comedy and tragedy.