Federico García Lorca (1898–1936) had enormous impact on the generation of American poets who came of age during the cold war, from Robert Duncan and Allen Ginsberg to Robert Creeley and Jerome Rothenberg. In large numbers, these poets have not only translated his works, but written imitations, parodies, and pastiches—along with essays and critical reviews. Jonathan Mayhew’s Apocryphal Lorca is an exploration of the afterlife of this legendary Spanish writer in the poetic culture of the United States.
The book examines how Lorca in English translation has become a specifically American poet, adapted to American cultural and ideological desiderata—one that bears little resemblance to the original corpus, or even to Lorca’s Spanish legacy. As Mayhew assesses Lorca’s considerable influence on the American literary scene of the latter half of the twentieth century, he uncovers fundamental truths about contemporary poetry, the uses and abuses of translation, and Lorca himself.
As in her Tony Award–winning Metamorphoses, Mary Zimmerman transforms Greek mythology—here the story of Jason and the Argonauts—into a mesmerizing piece of theater. Encountering an array of daunting challenges in their “first voyage of the world,” Jason and his crew illustrate the essence of all such journeys to follow—their unpredictability, their inspiring and overwhelming breadth of emotion, their lessons in the inevitability of failure and loss. Bursts of humor and fantastical creatures enrich a story whose characters reveal remarkable complexity. Medea is profoundly sympathetic even as the seeds are sown for the monstrous life ahead of her, and the brute strength of Hercules leaves him no less vulnerable to the vicissitudes of love. Zimmerman brings to Argonautika her trademark ability to encompass the full range of human experience in a work as entertaining as it is enlightening.
Arthur Miller's Global Theater
Enoch Brater, Editor University of Michigan Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3525.I5156Z535 2007 | Dewey Decimal 812.52
No American playwright is more revered on the international stage than Arthur Miller. In Arthur Miller’s Global Theater—a fascinating collection of new essays by leading international critics and scholars—readers learn how and why audiences around the world have responded to the work of the late theatrical icon. With perspectives from diverse corners of the globe, from Israel to Japan to South Africa, this groundbreaking volume explores the challenges of translating one of the most American of American playwrights and details how disparate nations have adapted meaning in Miller’s most celebrated dramas.
An original and engaging collection that will appeal to theater aficionados, scholars, students, and all those interested in Miller and his remarkable oeuvre, Arthur Miller’s Global Theater illustrates how dramas such as Death of a Salesman,The Crucible, and A View from the Bridge developed a vigorous dialogue with new audiences when they crossed linguistic and national borders. In these times when problems of censorship, repressive regimes, and international discord are increasingly in the news, Arthur Miller’s voice has never been more necessary as it continues to be heard and celebrated around the world.
Enoch Brater is the Kenneth T. Rowe Collegiate Professor of Dramatic Literature at the University of Michigan. His other books include Arthur Miller: A Playwright’s Life and Works and Arthur Miller’s America.
The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold is a lavishly poetic novel that draws upon the motifs of traditional German, Russian and Yiddish folklore and fairy stories to recount the visionary obsessions of a passionate young woman. The narrative moves freely through time and space, uniting Ketzia Gold's early childhood with her sexual awakenings, creating a dreamscape of haunting vividness. Marked by a logical illogic and disarmingly sane madness, this haunting and innovative fable creates an emotional landscape that's as impossible to escape as it is for young Ketzia to inhabit. Kate Bernheimer interweaves hypnotic imagery and everyday life, moving back and forth through time, piecing together the fragments of memory and imagination with an obsessive lyricism that recalls the poetic fictions of Carol Maso. Bernheimer's story is a rich tapestry, patterned with childhood longings and the luxuriant complexity of womanhood.
Named after a Sardinian princess of the fourteenth century who established laws protecting falcons, Eleonora's falcon is the only European bird to breed in autumn and feed its brood on the mass of birds that migrate from Europe to Africa between July and October. It breeds on small Mediterranean islands in colonies of up to 200 pairs and hunts often in groups, preying on more than 90 species of migrant birds. During the winter this falcon visits the rain-soaked woodlands of Madagascar.
In this study—illustrated beautifully and extensively with 59 line drawings and 38 photographs—Hartmut Walter shows how the unique geographical and biological situation of Falco eleonorae makes the species' health an important indicator of environmental decay. For though it lives in relatively isolated areas, Eleonora's falcon nevertheless may ingest the many pollutants contained in its diet of birds migrating from industrial Europe. Walter, who has studied raptors on several continents and has been an ornithologist since his early youth, examines several discrete colonies of Eleonora's falcon. He concentrates on the species' intraspecific behavior and ecology—such as the falcons' aggressive actions, hunting strategies, and response to fluctuating environmental conditions—and investigates their evolutionary past.
Ezra Pound and China
Zhaoming Qian, Editor University of Michigan Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3531.O82Z62165 2003 | Dewey Decimal 811.52
Ezra Pound and China, the first collection to explore the American poet's career-long relationship with China, considers how Pound's engagement with the Orient broadens the textual, cultural, and political boundaries of his modernism. The book's contributors discuss, among other topics, issues of cultural transmission; the influence of Pound's Chinese studies on twentieth-century poetics; the importance of his work to contemporary theories of translation; and the effects of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism on Pound's political and economic thought.
Richly illustrated, the book draws readers closer to the heart of Pound's vision. Ezra Pound and China will become an invaluable resource to students and scholars of Pound, cultural studies, translation theory, poetics, Confucianism, and literary transmission and reception.
Zhaoming Qian is Professor of English, the University of New Orleans.
Gods, Demons, and Others
R. K. Narayan llustrated by R. K. Laxman University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress PR9499.3.N3G6 1993 | Dewey Decimal 823
Following in the footsteps of the storytellers of his native India, R. K. Narayan has produced his own versions of tales taken from the Ramayana and the Mahabarata. Carefully selecting those stories which include the strongest characters, and omitting the theological or social commentary that would have drawn out the telling, Narayan informs these fascinating myths with his urbane humor and graceful style.
"Mr. Narayan gives vitality and an original viewpoint to the most ancient of legends, lacing them with his own blend of satire, pertinent explanation and thoughtful commentary."—Santha Rama Rau, New York Times
"Narayan's narrative style is swift, firm, graceful, and lucid . . . thoroughly knowledgeable, skillful, entertaining. One could hardly hope for more."—Rosanne Klass, Times Literary Supplement
Sayyidi wa Habibi (My Master and My Love) is a novel by acclaimed Lebanese author Hoda Barakat, abridged in the original Arabic in this volume for learners of Arabic at the advanced low proficiency level. Designed as a supplementary text that adds variety and fun to a regular course on Arabic, it is complete with exercises that guide learners through the story and help them improve their Arabic skills, introducing learners of the language to the world of contemporary Arabic literature and improving their knowledge of Arabic culture.
Set against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War, this intriguing novel relates the struggles of Wadie, a young man who leaves school and becomes corrupted by crime, and his wife, Samia, who flees with him to Cyprus. Universal questions of existence are masterfully portrayed through eloquent prose that keeps readers engaged until the last line. Laila Familiar provides introductory materials, a short biography of the author, and exercises that develop linguistic and cultural competencies. Audio files of Barakat reading five passages from the work, along with a recorded interview, are available free on the press website in order to help students improve their listening skills.
This authorized version of the abridged text of Sayyidi wa Habibi will be warmly embraced by college and university students of Arabic as well as by independent learners.
“Charming and captivating, these authentic and little-known Japanese folktales are told clearly and simply, making them easily accessible to young listeners at home or in the classroom. Thoughtful comments and notes from the two tellers provide clear tips for successful telling, along with a very useful glossary. If you tell stories to children, this is a must-purchase book!”
—Sherry Norfolk, Storyteller, Author and Teaching Artist
An Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology exposes students to the cultural detail and personal experiences that lie in the anthropological record and extends their anthropological understanding to contemporary issues.
The book is divided into three parts that focus on the main themes of the discipline: ecological adaptations, structural arrangements, and interpretive meanings. Each chapter provides an overview of a particular topic and then presents two case examples that illuminate the range of variation in traditional and contemporary societies. New case examples include herders’ climate change adaptations in the Arctic, matrilineal Muslims in Indonesia, Google’s AI winning the Asian game Go, mass migration in China, cross-cultural differences in the use of social media, and the North American response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Instructors will also have digital access to all the book’s illustrations for class review.
Covering the full range of sociocultural anthropology in a compact approach, this revised and updated edition of Cultural Anthropology: Adaptations, Structures, Meanings is a holistic, accessible, and socially relevant guide to the discipline for students at all levels.
Journey to the West: A Play
Mary Zimmerman Northwestern University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3576.I66J68 2011 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
This adaptation of a late sixteenth-century classic Chinese comic novel, Journey to the West, based on Anthony C. Yu’s translation, takes as its point of departure the true story of a seventh-century monk and his fabled pilgrimage from China to India in search of sacred texts. Mixing whimsy with spiritual weight, Zimmerman’s script combines comedy, adventure, and satire in a moving allegory of human perseverance.
Winner of 2006 International Association of Theatre Critics Thalia Prize
Winner of 2006 Village Voice OBIE Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
In this collection, Eric Bentley presents Concord, a comedy adapted from Kleist's The Broken Jug;The Fall of the Amazons, a tragedy written in response to Kleist's Penthesilea; and Wannsee, a tragic-comedy which is Bentley's rendering of Kleist's Cathy of Heilbronn.
Bentley sets Concord in a courthouse during the early days of the Republic. Convened to discover who broke an irreplaceable jug symbolic of the chivalric age of Sir Walter Raleigh, Judge Adam's madcap court flounders in hilarious chaos induced by huge lies to cover comic lust.
Fall of the Amazons is the story of Achilles and the Amazon queen, Penthesilea. Through this pagan play, Bentley explores improbably love, which he exemplifies in the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac: "In seeming to be cruel to both father and son, God has enabled them to find, in total vulnerability, total love," a theme that also pervades Wannsee.
Bentley's Wannsee is a play of pageantry: emperors, counts, dueling knights, a young beauty of seemingly low birth, cherubs, and witches masked in loveliness. A fabulous love story ostensibly designed to dissuade Kleist from self-destruction, Wannsee demonstrates with a flourish that, though devils roam the earth, there are also angels.
The tale of young Hannah, who loves above all else to sing. What worse curse could have been visited upon her than this: she has been sent to live with her aunt and uncle in a sorrowful town where music itself is banned from its grim and cobbled streets. What woe has befallen this town? Why are there no children? Why are there no rats?
Hannah will discover the answers to these dread questions in the wilderness wastes, under a mountain. There she discovers a secret orchestra, held captive by an ancient conductor, who remembers his glorious youth – when no-one could resist the beauty he could make with his flute. Could our Hannah be the bridge between two ancient enemies? Might the ghosts of the rats come to her aid? And, most importantly, will she sing once again?
Adapted and edited by David R. Slavitt Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress BL1138.25.S59 2015 | Dewey Decimal 294.5923
Within its 200,000 verse lines in Sanskrit the Mahabharata takes on many roles: epic poem, foundational text of Hinduism, and, more broadly, the engaging story of a dynastic struggle and the passing of an age when man and gods intermingled. David R. Slavitt’s sparkling new edition condenses the epic for the general reader.
At its core, the Mahabharata is the story of the rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, two related noble families who are struggling for control of a kingdom in ancient northern India. Slavitt’s readable, plot-driven, single-volume account describes an arc from the conception and birth of Bhishma to that hero's death, while also introducing the four goals of life at the center of Hinduism: dharma (righteousness, morality, duty), artha (purpose), kāma (pleasure), and moksa (spiritual liberation). The Mahabharata is engaging, thrilling, funny, charming, and finally awesome, with a range in timbre from the impish naivete of fairy tales to the solemnity of our greatest epics, and this single-volume edition is the best introduction available.
The Mahabharata tells a story of such violence and tragedy that many people in India refuse to keep the full text in their homes, fearing that if they do, they will invite a disastrous fate upon their house. Covering everything from creation to destruction, this ancient poem remains an indelible part of Hindu culture and a landmark in ancient literature.
Centuries of listeners and readers have been drawn to The Mahabharata, which began as disparate oral ballads and grew into a sprawling epic. The modern version is famously long, and at more than 1.8 million words—seven times the combined lengths of the Iliad and Odyssey—it can be incredibly daunting.
Contemporary readers have a much more accessible entry point to this important work, thanks to R. K. Narayan’s masterful translation and abridgement of the poem. Now with a new foreword by Wendy Doniger, as well as a concise character and place guide and a family tree, The Mahabharata is ready for a new generation of readers. As Wendy Doniger explains in the foreword, “Narayan tells the stories so well because they’re all his stories.” He grew up hearing them, internalizing their mythology, which gave him an innate ability to choose the right passages and their best translations.
In this elegant translation, Narayan ably distills a tale that is both traditional and constantly changing. He draws from both scholarly analysis and creative interpretation and vividly fuses the spiritual with the secular. Through this balance he has produced a translation that is not only clear, but graceful, one that stands as its own story as much as an adaptation of a larger work.
Growing from an oral tradition of ballads based on historic events in India, the Mahabharata was passed down and extended through the centuries, becoming the longest poem ever written. R. K. Narayan provides a superb rendition in an abbreviated and elegant retelling of this great epic.
To posterity, William Shakespeare may be the Bard of Avon, but to mid-seventeenth-century theatergoers he was just another dramatist. Yet barely a century later, he was England’s most popular playwright and a household name. In this intriguing study, Don-John Dugas explains how these changes came about and sealed Shakespeare’s reputation even before David Garrick performed his work on the London stage.
Marketing the Bard considers the ways that performance and publication affected Shakespeare’s popularity. Dugas takes readers inside London’s theaters and print shops to show how the practices of these intersecting enterprises helped transform Shakespeare from a run-of-the-mill author into the most performed playwright of all time—persuasively demonstrating that by the 1730s commerce, not criticism, was the principal force driving Shakespeare’s cultural dominance.
Displaying an impressive command of theater and publishing history, Dugas explains why adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays succeeded or failed on the stage and shows that theatrical and publishing concerns exerted a greater influence than aesthetics on the playwright’s popularity. He tells how revivals and adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays while he was relatively unknown fueled an interest in publication—exploited by the Tonson publishing firm with expensive collected editions marketed to affluent readers—which eventually led to competition between pricey collections and cheap single-play editions. The resulting price war flooded the market with Shakespeare, which in turn stimulated stage revivals of even his most obscure plays.
In tracing this curious reemergence of Shakespeare, Dugas considers why the Tonsons acquired the copyright to the plays, how the famous edition of 1709 differed from earlier ones, and what effect its publication had on Shakespeare’s popularity. He records all known performances of Shakespeare between 1660 and 1705 to document productions by various companies and to show how their performances shaped the public’s taste for Shakespeare. He also discloses a previously overlooked eighteenth-century engraving that sheds new light on the price war and Shakespeare’s reputation.
Marketing the Bard is a thoroughly engaging book that ranges widely over the Restoration landscape, containing a wealth of information and insight for anyone interested in theater history, the history of the book, the origins of copyright, and of course Shakespeare himself. Dugas’s analysis of the complex factors that transformed a prolific playwright into the inimitable Bard clearly shows how business produces and packages great art in order to sell it.
As Christopher Nolan’s Batman films and releases from the Marvel Cinematic Universe have regularly topped the box office charts, fans and critics alike might assume that the “comic book movie” is a distinctly twenty-first-century form. Yet adaptations of comics have been an integral part of American cinema from its very inception, with comics characters regularly leaping from the page to the screen and cinematic icons spawning comics of their own.
Movie Comics is the first book to study the long history of both comics-to-film and film-to-comics adaptations, covering everything from silent films starring Happy Hooligan to sound films and serials featuring Dick Tracy and Superman to comic books starring John Wayne, Gene Autry, Bob Hope, Abbott & Costello, Alan Ladd, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. With a special focus on the Classical Hollywood era, Blair Davis investigates the factors that spurred this media convergence, as the film and comics industries joined forces to expand the reach of their various brands. While analyzing this production history, he also tracks the artistic coevolution of films and comics, considering the many formal elements that each medium adopted and adapted from the other.
As it explores our abiding desire to experience the same characters and stories in multiple forms, Movie Comics gives readers a new appreciation for the unique qualities of the illustrated page and the cinematic moving image.
Mulan, the warrior maiden who performed heroic deeds in battle while dressed as a male soldier, has had many incarnations from her first appearance as a heroine in an ancient Chinese folk ballad. Mulan’s story was retold for centuries, extolling the filial virtue of the young woman who placed her father's honor and well-being above her own. With the publication of Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior in the late 1970s, Mulan first became familiar to American audiences who were fascinated with the extraordinary Asian American character. Mulan’s story was recast yet again in the popular 1998 animated Disney film and its sequel.
In Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States, Lan Dong traces the development of this popular icon and asks, "Who is the real Mulan?" and "What does authenticity mean for the critic looking at this story?" Dong charts this character’s literary voyage across historical and geographical borders, discussing the narratives and images of Mulan over a long time span—from premodern China to the contemporary United States to Mulan’s counter-migration back to her homeland.
As Dong shows, Mulan has been reinvented repeatedly in both China and the United States so that her character represents different agendas in each retelling—especially after she reached the western hemisphere. The dutiful and loyal daughter, the fierce, pregnant warrior, and the feisty teenaged heroine—each is Mulan representing an idea about female virtue at a particular time and place.
Since their publication, the works of Dostoevsky have provided rich fodder for adaptations to opera, film, and drama. While Dostoevsky gave his blessing to the idea of adapting his work to other forms, he believed that "each art form corresponds to a series of poetic thoughts, so that one idea cannot be expressed in another non-corresponding form." In Multi-Mediated Dostoevsky, Alexander Burry argues that twentieth-century adaptations (which he calls "transpositions") of four of Dostoevsky’s works—Sergei Prokofiev’s opera The Gambler, Leos Janacek’s opera From the Dead House, Akira Kurosawa’s film The Idiot, and Adrzej Wajda’s drama The Devils—follow Dostoevsky’s precept by bringing to light underdeveloped or unappreciated aspects of Dostoevsky’s texts rather than by slavishly attempting to recreate their sources. Burry’s interdisciplinary approach gives his study broad appeal to scholars as well as to students of Russian, comparative literature, music, film, drama, and cultural studies.
At last, for those who adapt literature into scripts, a how-to book that illuminates the process of creating a stageworthy play. Page to Stage describes the essential steps for constructing adaptations for any theatrical venue, from the college classroom to a professionally produced production. Acclaimed director Vincent Murphy offers students in theater, literary studies, and creative writing a clear and easy-to-use guidebook on adaptation. Its step-by-step process will be valuable to professional theater artists as well, and for script writers in any medium. Murphy defines six essential building blocks and strategies for a successful adaptation, including theme, dialogue, character, imagery, storyline, and action. Exercises at the end of each chapter lead readers through the transformation process, from choosing their material to creating their own adaptations. The book provides case studies of successful adaptations, including The Grapes of Wrath (adaptation by Frank Galati) and the author's own adaptations of stories by Samuel Beckett and John Barth. Also included is practical information on building collaborative relationships, acquiring rights, and getting your adaptation produced.
Popular Arthurian Traditions
Sally K. Slocum University of Wisconsin Press, 1992 Library of Congress PR408.A7P67 1992 | Dewey Decimal 809.93351
From medieval history and romance through various twentieth-century renderings, this collection of essays considers themes, characters, and events of the legend and the meanings they impart. Sir Thomas Malory, Chrétien de Troyes, Mark Twain, Thomas Berger, Marion Zimmer Bradley, C. J. Cherryh, and other prose writers are discussed as are comic books and other genres. Film interpretations, photographic illustrations, and musical expressions receive analytical attention, as do poetic, religious, and mythic uses of the Arthurian world.
Renaissance Revivals examines patterns in the London revivals of two English Renaissance theatre genres over the past four centuries. Griswold's focus on revenge tragedies and city comedies illuminates the ongoing interaction between society and its cultural products. No cultural object is ever created anew, she argues, but is instead constructed from existing cultural genres and conventions, the visions and professional needs of the artist, and the interests of an audience. Thus, every "new play" is in part a renaissance and every "revival" is in part an entirely new cultural object.
Early Medieval Britain is more Roman than we think. The Roman Empire left vast infrastructural resources on the island. These resources lay buried not only in dirt and soil, but also in texts, laws, chronicles - even charters, churches, and landscapes. This book uncovers them and shows how they shaped Early Medieval Britain. Infrastructure, material and symbolic, can work in ways that are not immediately obvious and exert an influence long after the builders have gone. Infrastructure can also rest dormant and be reactivated with a changed function, role and appearance. This is not a simple story of continuity and discontinuity: it is a story of transformation, of how the Roman infrastructural past was used and re-used, and also how it influenced the later societies of Britain.
Saaq al-Bambuu (The Bamboo Stalk) by Kuwaiti novelist Saud al-Sanousi provides students at the intermediate-advanced Arabic language level the opportunity to engage with an award-winning work of contemporary fiction. This abridged version has been approved by the author, authenticating the richness of a text that offers students the means to develop vocabulary and reading fluency while sensitizing them to the stylistics of the language. The novel is a coming-of-age story of a half-Filippino, half-Kuwaiti teen who returns to his father's Kuwait. There, he explores his own identity as a poor Filipino in a culture he does not know well and receives a mixed welcome from his own wealthy relatives. Universal concepts of identity, faith, belonging, poverty/wealth, and otherness are explored through a poetic narrative and engaging plot that will keep students captivated from the first line to the very last page.
Included within the book are chapter exercises that develop linguistic and cultural competencies, a short biography of the author, and glossaries of literary terms and devices. As with Laila Familiar's Sayyidi wa Habibi, this authorized version of the abridged text by a contemporary Arabic author will be warmly embraced by college and university students of Arabic as well as by independent learners.
Adapted from Molière’s The Misanthrope, David Ives’s The School for Lies tells the comic tale of Frank, who shares with Molière’s Alceste a venomous hatred of the hypocrisy that surrounds him. Like his predecessor, Frank gets into trouble for insulting the work of a dreadful poet and falls in love with Celimene, a witty widow. In Ives’s madcap version, however, Celimene returns Frank’s affection because she wrongly believes him to be King Louis XIV’s bastard brother. Borrowing from Shakespeare, reality TV, and everything in between, The School for Lies is an inspired entertainment as well as a pointed study in self-delusion, all rendered in sparkling couplets.
Over a century after its first stage performance, Peter Pan has become deeply embedded in Western popular culture, as an enduring part of childhood memories, in every part of popular media, and in commercial enterprises.
Since 2003 the characters from this story have had a highly visible presence in nearly every genre of popular culture: two major films, a literary sequel to the original adventures, a graphic novel featuring a grown-up Wendy Darling, and an Argentinean novel about a children's book writer inspired by J. M. Barrie. Simultaneously, Barrie surfaced as the subject of two major biographies and a feature film. The engaging essays in Second Star to the Right approach Pan from literary, dramatic, film, television, and sociological perspectives and, in the process, analyze his emergence and preservation in the cultural imagination.
Mary Zimmerman’s The Secret in the Wings adapts a group of lesser-known fairy tales to create a theatrical work that sets their dark mystery against her signature wit and humor. The framing story concerns a child and the frightening babysitter with whom her parents leave her. As the babysitter reads from a book, the characters in each of the tales materialize, with each tale breaking off just at its bleakest moment before giving way to the next one.
The central tale is told without interruption, after which each previous tale is successively resumed, with each looming disaster averted. As in Zimmerman’s other productions, here she uses costumes, props, sets, and lighting to brilliant effect, creating images and feelings that render the fairy tales in all their elemental and enduring power.
"Rabkin selects The Merchant of Venice, Henry V, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Macbeth, Coriolanus, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest as the plays on which to build his argument, and he teaches us a great deal about these plays. . . . To convince the unbelievingthat that the plays do mean, but that the meaning is coterminous with the experience of the plays themselves, Rabkin finds a strategy more subtle than thesis and rational argument, a strategy designed to make us see for ourselves why thematic descriptions are inadequate, see for ourselves tath the plays mean more than and statement about them can ever suggest." –Barbara A. Mowat, Auburn University
"Norman Rabkin's new book is a very different kind of good book. Elegantly spare, sharp, undogmatic. . . . The relationship between the perception of unity and the perception of artistic achievement is a basic conundrum, and it is one that Mr. Rabkin has courageously placed at the center of his discussion." –G. K. Hunter, Sewanee Review
"Rabkin's book is brilliant, taut, concise, beautifully argued, and sensitively responsive to the individuality of particular Shakespeare plays." –Anne Barton, New York Review of Books
Shakespeare and Trump
Jeffrey R. Wilson Temple University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PR3017 | Dewey Decimal 822.33
Should we draw an analogy between Shakespeare’s tyrants—Richard III, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and King Lear—and Donald Trump? In Shakespeare and Trump, Jeffrey Wilson applies literary criticism to real life, examining plot, character, villainy, soliloquy, tragedy, myth, and metaphor to identify the formal features of the Trump phenomenon, and its hidden causes, structure, and meanings.
Wilsonapproaches his comparison prismatically. He first considers two high-concept (read: far-fetched) Shakespeare adaptations penned by Trump’s former chief political strategist Steve Bannon. He looks at University of Pennsylvania students protesting Trump by taking down a monument to Shakespeare. He reads Trump’s first 100 days in office against Netflix’s House of Cards. Wilson also addresses the summer 2017 Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar wherein an assassination of a Trump-ian leader caused corporations to withdraw sponsorship.
These stories reveal a surprising—and bizarre—relationship between the provincial English playwright and the billionaire President of the United States, ostensibly a medieval king living in a modern world. The comparison reveals a politics that blends villainy and comedy en route to tragedy.
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.
Updated versions of Mark Twain classic stories in the best tradition of comedic writing. All of the stories were originally penned by Mark Twain, including "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." The author is a contemporary American storyteller who has included notes for readers and re-tellers in addition to an introduction that comments on Mr. Twain and the era in which his stories were written.
Toward a Theater of the Oppressed is an engaging study of the dramaturgy of contemporary British playwright John Arden and the political implications of his work. Arden made his debut on the London stage in the wake of a powerful new wave of young, "angry" drama in England during the late 1950s. Javed Malick argues that in contrast to contemporaries like John Osborne, Harold Pinter, and Arnold Wesker, Arden offered a radically different approach to drama and theater, employing a long-neglected writing style that derived from pre-bourgeois popular traditions.
Malick situates Arden's dramaturgy in the wider context of the radical alternative tradition in Western drama, drawing connections to Brecht, Piscator, the radical playwrights of the 1960s. He then explores the formal structure, ideological implications, and historical significance of Arden's work, treating his stage plays as one dramaturgically coherent opus- from the early Waters of Babylon to his and Margaretta D'Arcy's ambitious trilogy, The Island of the Mighty. Finally, he discusses the last phase of Arden and D'Arcy's political and artistic development, which led them to turn their backs on the professional theater circuit. He argues that Arden's rejection of the institutional stage was the logical outcome of his persistent search for alternative forms of political theater.
Toward a Theater of the Oppressed will be invaluable reading for those interested in modern drama, political theater, and popular performance, as well as students of contemporary British drama.
Javed Malick is Reader in English, Khalsa College, University of Delhi, India.
How did Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein give rise to the iconic green monster everyone knows today? In 1823, only five years after publication, Shelley herself saw the Creature come to life on stage, and this performance shaped the story’s future. Suddenly, thousands of people who had never read Shelley’s novel were participating in its cultural animation. Similarly, early adaptations magnified the reception and renown of all manner of nineteenth-century literary creations, from Byron and Keats to Dickens and Tennyson and beyond. Yet, until now, adaptation has been seen as a largely modern phenomenon.
In Transmedia Adaptation in the Nineteenth Century, Lissette Lopez Szwydky convincingly historicizes the practice of adaptation, drawing on multiple disciplines to illustrate narrative mobility across time, culture, and geography. Case studies from stage plays, literature, painting, illustration, chapbooks, and toy theaters position adaptation as a central force in literary history that ensures continued cultural relevance, accessibility, and survival. The history of these forms helps to inform and put into context our contemporary obsessions with popular media. Finally, in upending a traditional understanding of canon by arguing that adaptation creates canon and not the other way around, Szwydky provides crucial bridges between nineteenth-century literary scholarship, adaptation studies, and media studies, thus identifying new stakes for all.
On the 200th anniversary of the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Transmedia Creatures presents studies of Frankenstein by international scholars from converging disciplines such as humanities, musicology, film studies, television studies, English and digital humanities. These innovative contributions investigate the afterlives of a novel taught in a disparate array of courses - Frankenstein disturbs and transcends boundaries, be they political, ethical, theological, aesthetic, and not least of media, ensuring its vibrant presence in contemporary popular culture. Transmedia Creatures highlights how cultural content is redistributed through multiple media, forms and modes of production (including user-generated ones from “below”) that often appear synchronously and dismantle and renew established readings of the text, while at the same time incorporating and revitalizing aspects that have always been central to it. The authors engage with concepts, value systems and aesthetic-moral categories—among them the family, horror, monstrosity, diversity, education, risk, technology, the body—from a variety of contemporary approaches and highly original perspectives, which yields new connections. Ultimately, Frankenstein, as evidenced by this collection, is paradoxically enriched by the heteroglossia of preconceptions, misreadings, and overreadings that attend it, and that reveal the complex interweaving of perceptions and responses it generates.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Uncommon folktales and a few old favorites revived and retold for young people and tradition keepers. Folk and fairy tales celebrate different cultures and ways to see the world.
A collection of the author’s favorite folktales from his professional storytelling repertoire, retold in contemporary jargon for young reader, UNDER THE OAKEN BOUGH is an anthology which breathes new life into the folk and fairy tales of old. Professional storyteller, Simon Brooks, has written the stories he loves to tell in the style he uses on stage, whether at a library, school, college, private event or festival. Each story concludes with brief notes about the tale. This wonderful little book is a must have, not just for young people entering the realm of folk and fairy tales for themselves, but for parents who love to read to their children, teachers and librarians. The book includes a Q & A section with the author, a guide on how to tell stories, suggested reading, and a list of vocabulary words and their meanings. Half of the eighteen stories come from Europe, the remainder from the rest of the world. Some of these stories are old favorites, but inside you will find stories which can be hard to find, and seldom told. Join Simon Under the Oaken Bough and step into another realm, far, far away.
United States of Banana: A Graphic Novel
Giannina Braschi and Joakim Lindengren Edited and with an introduction by Amanda M. Smith and Amy Sheeran The Ohio State University Press, 2021 Library of Congress PN6790.P93B738 2021 | Dewey Decimal 741.597295
“I was a monument to immigration—now I’m a border control cop.” So admits the Statue of Liberty in Giannina Braschi’s United States of Banana, a rollicking and nakedly political allegory of US imperialism and Puerto Rican independence. Illustrated by Swedish comic book artist Joakim Lindengren and based on Braschi’s epic manifesto by the same title, the story takes us along on the madcap adventures of Zarathustra, Hamlet, and Giannina herself as they rescue the Puerto Rican prisoner Segismundo from under the skirt of the Statue of Liberty. Throughout their quest, the characters debate far-ranging political and philosophical subjects, spanning terrorism, global warming, mass incarceration, revolution, and love. The Marx Brothers, Pablo Neruda, Barack Obama, Disney characters and more make appearances in this stirring call to overthrow empire, liberate the imprisoned masses, and build a new country rooted in friendship, art, poetry, and laughter.
Venus in Fur: A Play
David Ives Northwestern University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3559.V435V46 2011 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
A young playwright, Thomas, has written an adaptation of the 1870 novel Venus in Fur by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (after whom the term “masochism” was coined); the novel is the story of an obsessive adulterous relationship between a man and the mistress to whom he becomes enslaved. At the end of a long day in which the actresses Thomas auditions fail to impress him, in walks Vanda, very late and seemingly clueless, but she convinces him to give her a chance. As they perform scenes from Thomas’s play, and Vanda the actor and Vanda the character gradually take control of the audition, the lines between writer, actor, director, and character begin to blur. Vanda is acting . . . or perhaps she sees in Thomas a masochist, one who desires fantasy in “real life” while writing fantasies for a living.
An exploration of gender roles and sexuality, in which desire twists and turns in on itself, Venus in Fur is also a witty, unsettling look at the art of acting—onstage and off.
Fourteen bold, dynamic, and daring women take the stage in this collection of women's lives and stories. Individually and collectively, these writers and performers speak the unspoken and perform the heretofore unperformed.
The first section includes scripts and essays about performances of the lives of Gertrude Stein, Georgia O'Keeffe, Mary Church Terrell, Charlotte Cushman, Anaïs Nin, Calamity Jane, and Mary Martin. The essays consider intriguing interpretive issues that arise when a woman performer represents another woman's life. In the second section, seven performers—Tami Spry, Jacqueline Taylor, Linda Park-Fuller, Joni Jones, Terri Galloway, Linda M. Montano, and Laila Farah—tell their own stories. Ranging from narrrative lectures (sometimes aided by slides and props) to theatrical performances, their works wrest comic and dramatic meaning from a world too often chaotic and painful. Their performances engage issues of sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, loss of parent, disability, life and death, and war and peace. The volume as a whole highlights issues of representation, identity, and staging in autobiographical performance. It examines the links among theory and criticism of women's autobiography, feminist performance theory, and performance practice.
In his brilliant rendering of eight books of Homer's Iliad, Logue here retells some of the most evocative episodes of the war classic, including the death of Patroclus and Achilles's fateful return to battle, that sealed the doom of Troy. Compulsively readable, Logue's poetry flies off the page, and his compelling descriptions of the horrors of war have a surreal, dreamlike quality that has been compared to the films of Kurosawa. Retaining the great poem's story line but rewriting every incident, Logue brings the Trojan War to life for modern audiences.