By Terence Hawkes
Substitute Shakespeares, released in 1985, shook up the realm of Shakespearean reports, demythologising Shakespeare and using new theories to the research of his paintings. replacement Shakespeares: quantity 2 investigates Shakespearean feedback over a decade later, introducing new debates and new theorists into the body. either demonstrated students and new names look right here, offering a large cross-section of latest Shakespearean reports, together with psychoanalysis, sexual and gender politics, race and new historicism. replacement Shakespeares: quantity 2 represents the leading edge of latest Shakespearean stories. This urgently-needed addition to a vintage paintings of literary feedback is one that academics and students will welcome.
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Additional info for Alternative Shakespeares: Volume 2 With an afterword by John Drakakis
At its best, by contrast, fiction, like seduction, is inventive; it depends on the play of surfaces. It is only in Literature departments and on the committees awarding literary prizes that fiction becomes solemn, weighty, a duty, a moral obligation. Fiction can also, however, give us information about its own historical moment, not by reflection, but by producing or ALTERNATIVE SHAKESPEARES 2 41 reproducing the images in circulation in the culture at that time. Fiction is intelligible to the degree that it draws on the representations people recognize; it is radical to the degree that it challenges or modifies those representations, but still within the limits of intelligibility.
Enigmatic, enchanting, seduction defers satisfaction in order to sustain the pleasure of anticipation. It repudiates what Baud-rillard calls our culture’s naturalization of sex, its commitment to an unimaginative artlessness, and its claim at the same time to gratification as one of the human rights. Moreover, seduction refuses the sexual equivalent of the work ethic, the obligation twentieth-century Western culture so diligently promotes to put the body to good erotic use. Sex, Baudrillard argues, is quotidian, drab, referential, preoccupied by the real: seduction, which liberates us from the constraints of duty and truth-to-nature, depends on fantasy, romance, imagination.
That the movement in question tended to subordinate questions of feminism to those of gender and questions of gender to those of power only exacerbated suspicion. In Renaissance studies in the early 1980s—that is, the period of new histor-icism’s emergence—feminist literary criticism was itself in a state of significant transition, or rather on the verge of such a transition. In 1980, the two most significant publications in Renaissance studies were Stephen Greenblatt’s Renaissance Selffashioning and The Woman’s Part, a collection of feminist essays on Shakespeare edited by Carolyn Lenz, Gayle Greene and Carol Neely which in many ways put the feminist study of Shakespeare on the map of literary studies.
Alternative Shakespeares: Volume 2 With an afterword by John Drakakis by Terence Hawkes