Verbal Riddim: The Politics and Aesthetics of African-Caribbean Dub Poetry

Rodopi
1
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This is the first book-length study of dub poetry, the musical talkover that has been an important part of the reggae scene in Canada, Britain and of course the Caribbean since the 1970's. Christian Habekost 's qualifications for writing such a book are beyond dispute. He is a German poet who has been involved with the dub movement since it began and knows most of its leading figures. As Ranting Chako, he is featured on the LP Dread Poets Society. The bibliography indicates that he has interviewed many of the 43 poet-performers mentioned, often on several occasions. Verbal Riddim, based on his doctoral dissertation at the University of Mannheim, is a successful blend of the performer and the researcher.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Rodopi
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Published on
Dec 31, 1993
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Pages
262
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ISBN
9789051835496
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This study, the first book-length treatment of its subject, draws on a large base of elusive material and on extensive field research. It is the result of the author's wide experience of teaching and producing theatre in Africa, and of her fascination with the ways in which traditional performance forms have interacted with, or have resisted, non-indigenous modes of dramatic representation in the process of evolving into the vital theatres of the present day. A comparative historical study is offered of the three national cultures of Ethiopia, Tanganyika/Tanzania, and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. Not only (scripted) drama is treated, but also theatre in the sense of the broader range of performance arts such as dance and song. The development of theatre and drama is seen against the background of centuries of cultural evolution and interaction, from pre-colonial times, through phases of African and European imperialism, to the liberation struggles and newly-won independence of the present. The seminal relationship between theatre, society and politics is thus a central focus. Topics covered include: the function in theatre of vernacular and colonial languages; performance forms under feudal, communalist and socialist régimes; cultural militancy and political critique; the relationship of theatre to social élites and to the peasant class; state control (funding and censorship); racism and separate development in the performing arts; contemporary performance structures (amateur, professional, community and university theatre). Due attention is paid to prominent dramatists, theatre groups and theatre directors, and the author offers new insight into African perceptions of the role of the artist in the theatre, as well as dealing with the important subject of gender roles (in drama, in performance ritual, and in theatre practice). The book is illustrated with contemporary photographs.
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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