Dazzling puzzles

27 November 2010 12:00 am

Halfway through his new book about Shakespeare’s sonnets, Don Paterson quotes W.H. Auden. Auden was one of Shakespeare’s great commentators and he firmly warned against reading the sonnets as simple statements. ‘It is also nonsensical,’ Auden wrote, ‘to waste time trying to identify characters. It is an idiot’s job, pointless and uninteresting.’