Shakespeare, Brecht, and the Intercultural Sign

Duke University Press
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In Shakespeare, Brecht, and the Intercultural Sign renowned Brecht scholar Antony Tatlow uses drama to investigate cultural crossings and to show how intercultural readings or performances question the settled assumptions we bring to interpretations of familiar texts. Through a “textual anthropology” Tatlow examines the interplay between interpretations of Shakespeare and readings of Brecht, whose work he rereads in the light of theories of the social subject from Nietzsche to Derrida and in relation to East Asian culture, as well as practices within Chinese and Japanese theater that shape their versions of Shakespearean drama.
Reflecting on how, why, and to what effect knowledges and styles of performance pollinate across cultures, Tatlow demonstrates that the employment of one culture’s material in the context of another defamiliarizes the conventions of representation in an act that facilitates access to what previously had been culturally repressed. By reading the intercultural, Tatlow shows, we are able not only to historicize the effects of those repressions that create a social unconscious but also gain access to what might otherwise have remained invisible.
This remarkable study will interest students of cultural interaction and aesthetics, as well as readers interested in theater, Shakespeare, Brecht, China, and Japan.

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About the author

Antony Tatlow was Professor and Head of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong for many years before assuming his current position as Professor of Comparative Literature and Coordinator of the Graduate Centre for Arts Research at the University of Dublin. His previous books include The Mask of Evil: Brecht’s Response to the Poetry, Theatre, and Thought of China and Japan.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Sep 24, 2001
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Pages
308
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ISBN
9780822380894
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Shakespeare
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book provides a timely intervention in the fields of performance studies and theatre history, and to larger issues of global cultural exchange. The authors offer a provocative argument for rethinking the scholarly assessment of how diverse performative cultures interact, how they are interwoven, and how they are dependent upon each other.

While the term ‘intercultural theatre’ as a concept points back to postcolonialism and its contradictions, The Politics of Interweaving Performance Cultures explores global developments in the performing arts that cannot adequately be explained and understood using postcolonial theory. The authors challenge the dichotomy ‘the West and the rest’ – where Western cultures are ‘universal’ and non-Western cultures are ‘particular’ – as well as ideas of national culture and cultural ownership.

This volume uses international case studies to explore the politics of globalization, looking at new paternalistic forms of exchange and the new inequalities emerging from it. These case studies are guided by the principle that processes of interweaving performance cultures are, in fact, political processes. The authors explore the inextricability of the aesthetic and the political, whereby aesthetics cannot be perceived as opposite to the political; rather, the aesthetic is the political.

Helen Gilbert’s essay ‘Let the Games Begin: Pageants, Protests, Indigeneity (1968–2010)’won the 2015 Marlis Thiersch Prize for best essay from the Australasian Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Association.

This volume stems from the assumption that broadly-understood borderlands, as well as peripheries, provinces or uttermost ends of different kinds, are abodes of significant culture-generating forces. From the academic point of view, their undeniable appeal lies in the fact that they constitute spaces of mutual interactions and enable new cultural phenomena to surface, grow or decline, and, as such, are worth thorough and constant scrutiny. However, they also provide the setting for radical clashes between ideologies, languages, religions, customs, and, as the media report every single day, armies or guerrilla units. Living within such areas of creative dynamics and destructive friction (or visiting them, even vicariously as the contributors to the volume do) is tantamount to exposing oneself to a difference. One’s response to this difference – either in the form of rejection or, more preferably, acceptance (or a mixture of both) – is not merely an index of one’s tolerance (a platitudinised term itself that all too often hides an attitude of comfortable indifference), but an affirmation of humaneness. Borderlands are paradoxical, if not aporetic, loci. They simultaneously connote territories on either side of a border, in a literal sense, and a vague, intermediate state or region, in a metaphorical sense. Encapsulating the idea of border, the term indicates both inescapable nearness and unavoidable (or perhaps unbridgeable) separateness.

The studies included in the volume focus on various aspects of borderland art and literature, on analyses of selected works, and on the peculiarities of cultural and literary representations. Thus, the borderland landscape, both literal and metaphorical, comes to be seen as a factor contributing to the emergence of new, distinct and identifiable themes and motifs, as well as theoretical frameworks.

The first part of this book deals with Britain’s imperial age, its militants and its critics. The selection of works generates a large field of debate explored using traditional or innovative approaches. The 19th century is presented as a time for writers (J. E. Aylmer, E. Marryat Norris, G. A. Henty, Conan Doyle) who tell stories of Europeans venturing forth into “uncivilised” regions of the world where they meet other races. But writers of a different outlook are also considered. Before the twilight of Empire, women were born in England (Virginia Woolf) and in Ireland (Elizabeth Bowen) who would use the ductile means of literature to narrate journeys into the female self, instead of masculine tales set in distant lands. The imperial experience is a subject of concern and reflection with special interest when authored by natives of (former) colonies, such as Michael Ondaatje’s Hindu/Sirk hero in The English Patient and the Nigerian girls in some of Patience Agbabi’s poems. The idea of travelling into or out of the culture to which one apparently belongs, and the contradictory feelings such an experience causes, pervades the writer’s mind and the ensuing narrative.

The second part can be regarded as a North American miscellany, mostly devoted to the African culture, although also dealing with European heritage. In order to recognise Asian and South American influences as well, authors such as Fred Wah, Ariel Dorfman and Julia Alvarez have been included. Black literature is represented by two 19th century writers, Mary Ann Shadd and Martin R. Delany, who remind us of the fight against slavery and segregation and the path to equality. Various 20th century writers (Toni Morrison, Ernest Gaines, Harryatte Mullen, August Wilson) address the African-Americans’ quest for identity, presented by some as a journey southwards, away from the place of birth or an unsatisfactory life and in search of self-knowledge in the land of their forefathers. These journeys provide materials for different genres and tones, enabling readers to examine the aspirations and fears of a community whose contribution to the history and literature of America has stimulated continuous study.

The two parts of the book are connected by the underlying discussion of essential conflicts that have occupied “travellers” traversing imperial spaces or experiencing foreign lands as well as “travellers” who, instead of exotic adventures or romantic sojourns, want to settle in a “new” country, be accepted by a nation their ancestors did not know, or exercise rights they were denied on their native soil.

Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth — the works of William Shakespeare still resonate in our imaginations four centuries after they were written. The timeless characters and themes of the Bard’s plays fascinate us with their joys, struggles, and triumphs, and now they are available in a single volume for Shakespeare fans. This edition of William Shakespeare's works includes all of his poems and plays in an elegant manner which makes it the perfect gift for any lover of literature — a book to read and treasure! Whether for a Shakespeare devotee or someone just discovering him, this is the perfect place to experience the drama of Shakespeare's words. It is one of the most authoritative editions of Shakespeare's Complete Works.

This ebook contains Shakespeare's complete plays and complete poems in a new, easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate format. This is the most reader-friendly introduction to Shakespeare available today. 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare' collects all thirty-seven of the immortal Bard's comedies, tragedies, and historical plays in a Collectible Edition. This volume also features Shakespeare's complete poetry, including the sonnets. With this beautiful Collectible Edition, you can enjoy Shakespeare's enduring literary legacy again and again.

This collection features the following works:
THE PLAYS
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
All’s Well that Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Coriolanus
Cymbeline
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Julius Caesar
King Henry the Eighth
King Henry the Fifth
King Henry the Fourth, the First Part
King Henry the Fourth, the Second Part
King Henry the Sixth, the First Part
King Henry the Sixth, the Second Part
King Henry the Sixth, the Third Part
King John
King Lear
King Richard the Second
King Richard the Third
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Macbeth
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Much Ado About Nothing
Othello, the Moor of Venice
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Romeo and Juliet
The Taming of the Shrew
The Tempest
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night; or, What You Will
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Winter’s Tale

SONNETS AND POEMS
The Sonnets
A Lover’s Complaint
The Passionate Pilgrim
The Phoenix and the Turtle
The Rape of Lucrece
Venus and Adonis


(The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare, 9789380914831)
For more than two hundred years after William Shakespeare's death, no one doubted that he had written his plays. Since then, however, dozens of candidates have been proposed for the authorship of what is generally agreed to be the finest body of work by a writer in the English language. In this remarkable book, Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro explains when and why so many people began to question whether Shakespeare wrote his plays. Among the doubters have been such writers and thinkers as Sigmund Freud, Henry James, Mark Twain, and Helen Keller. It is a fascinating story, replete with forgeries, deception, false claimants, ciphers and codes, conspiracy theories—and a stunning failure to grasp the power of the imagination.

As Contested Will makes clear, much more than proper attribution of Shakespeare’s plays is at stake in this authorship controversy. Underlying the arguments over whether Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, or the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s plays are fundamental questions about literary genius, specifically about the relationship of life and art. Are the plays (and poems) of Shakespeare a sort of hidden autobiography? Do Hamlet, Macbeth, and the other great plays somehow reveal who wrote them?

Shapiro is the first Shakespeare scholar to examine the authorship controversy and its history in this way, explaining what it means, why it matters, and how it has persisted despite abundant evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays attributed to him. This is a brilliant historical investigation that will delight anyone interested in Shakespeare and the literary imagination.
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