Transforming Shakespeare: Contemporary Women's Revisions in Literature and Performance

Overview

A surprisingly large number of women writers, directors, and performers have created works that talk back to Shakespeare, or to most earlier and more traditional interpretations of his plays, in the late 20th century. For example, Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres, which rewrites King Lear, and Marina Warner’sIndigo, which rewrites The Tempest, protest biases against women and racist and imperialist attitudes that Shakespeare’s plays have come to symbolize. In this collection, feminist critics—and Jane Smiley ...

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Overview

A surprisingly large number of women writers, directors, and performers have created works that talk back to Shakespeare, or to most earlier and more traditional interpretations of his plays, in the late 20th century. For example, Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres, which rewrites King Lear, and Marina Warner’sIndigo, which rewrites The Tempest, protest biases against women and racist and imperialist attitudes that Shakespeare’s plays have come to symbolize. In this collection, feminist critics—and Jane Smiley herself—explore a range of such rewritings, as well as recent Shakespeare performances directed by women.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Full of fresh insights and ranging widely across the field of contemporary culture, Transforming Shakespeare is an exciting book. It strikingly demonstrates the many provocative ways in which Shakespeare can be ‘our contemporary.'” —Jean E. Howard, Columbia University

“Novy gathers a varied and all-star cast to explore women's 're-visions' of Shakespeare...well-documented and well-written essays offers new visions of Shakespeare for the diverse, postmodern world...” —Choice

“These well-written and accessible essays show how contemporary women subvert or expand upon [Shakespeare's] original texts, covering subjects as diverse as ecofeminism, colonialism, incest and production styles.” —Library Jourbanal

Library Journal
Through film, stage, the novel, and poetry, women are revisiting and reinterpreting Shakespeare from a distinctively feminist viewpoint. These well-written and accessible essays show how contemporary women subvert or expand upon his original texts, covering subjects as diverse as ecofeminism, colonialism, incest, and production styles. Novy (English, Univ. of Pittsburgh) makes a wonderful and unusual editorial decision in the extended and multifaceted interest given to the reinterpretation of King Lear in Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres (including two critical essays and a personal account from Smiley). Linda Bamber's chapter, "Claribel at Palace Dot Tunis," also works well within this collection as an example of a way in which a woman approaches the Shakespeare text as a writer of fiction and literary criticism, blending the concerns of this collection in theory and in practice. Recommended for academic libraries.--Karen E. Sadowski, Simmons Coll., Boston
Booknews
A surprisingly large number of women writers, directors, and performers have created works that respond to Shakespeare and to more traditional interpretations of his plays. In this collection, feminist critics explore such rewritings, as well as recent Shakespeare performances directed by women. They examine how these works use rewritings of Shakespeare to address issues of gender, race, sexuality, colonialism, and class, as well as the general question of our relation to cultural tradition at the start of the new millennium. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312235093
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Marianne Novy is Professor of English and former Director of Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author ofLove’s Argument: Gender Relations in Shakespeare and the editor of Women’s Re-Visions of Shakespeare.

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Table of Contents

Introduction—Marianne Novy
• Rita Dove’s Two Shakespeare Poems—Peter Erickson
• Recent Australian Shrews : The ‘Larrikin Element’—Penny Gay
• Katie Mitchell’s Henry VI —Barbara Hodgdon
• Subverting the Male Gaze: Christine Edzard’s Film of As You Like It — Patricia Lennox
• Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Good Night Desdemona and Paula Vogel’s Desdemona —Marianne Novy
• Jazz Cleopatras: Shakespearean Appropriations by Two Hollywood Divas: Josephine Baker and Tamora Dobson—Francesca Royster
• The Polluted Quarry: Nature and Body in A Thousand Acres —Barbara Mathieson
King Lear and A Thousand Acres : Gender, Genre, and the Revisionary Impulse—Iska Alter
• Shakespeare in Iceland—Jane Smiley
• ‘Out of Shakespeare’?: Cordelia in Cat’s Eye —Suzanne Raitt
• Tempest Plainsong: Silencing Caliban’s Curse—Diana Brydon
• Sycorax Speaks: Marina Warner’sIndigo and The Tempest —Caroline Cakebread
• Claribel at Palace Dot Tunis—Linda Bamber

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