By Terence Hawkes
Substitute Shakespeares, released in 1985, shook up the area of Shakespearean experiences, demythologising Shakespeare and employing new theories to the research of his paintings. substitute Shakespeares: quantity 2 investigates Shakespearean feedback over a decade later, introducing new debates and new theorists into the body. either validated students and new names seem the following, delivering a large cross-section of up to date Shakespearean reviews, together with psychoanalysis, sexual and gender politics, race and new historicism. substitute Shakespeares: quantity 2 represents the vanguard of up to date Shakespearean experiences. 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
As herself?. There is only one way to stop the replication of beauty: hide it, return it to silence, to the ineffable, to aphasia, refer the referent back to the invisible. (Barthes 1975:33–4) Returned to ineffability, rendered invisible by the description of a spectacle in which she constitutes the absent centre, Cleopatra thus escapes definition, gets away, enchants the audience, like Antony, at a distance, from elsewhere (cf. Derrida 1979:49). The account declares itself to be a representation.
In his study of the politics of literature in Jacobean England, Jonathan Goldberg draws on both Derrida and Foucault to examine the enabling contradictions of rule under James I and the degree to which poets and playwrights appropriated the radically equivocal style of Jaco-bean absolutism to position and sustain themselves both within and outside of the court patronage system (Goldberg 1983). The poetics and politics of Elizabethan rule have been richly and influentially examined by Louis Montrose in a series of essays that in many ways stand as exemplary instances of new historicist methodology and practice.
New historicism has not become, as some feared, the latest orthodoxy, nor has it died away. To my mind, the record of recent years suggests it has been part of a productive, polyvocal, far from harmonious but necessary dialogue with materialist feminism, cultural materialism and other participants in the broader field of cultural studies. III The need for a more materialist apprehension of historical heterogeneity confronts new historicism as well as certain varieties of feminism. In one of the more cogent critiques of the movement, James Holstun (like many others) records his dissatisfaction with the various manifestations of a ‘will-tototalization’ in new historicist approaches to culture.