Shakespeare Between the World Wars draws parallels between Shakespearean scholarship, criticism, and production from 1920 to 1940 and the chaotic years of the Interwar era. The book begins with the scene in Hamlet where the Prince confronts his mother, Gertrude. Just as the closet scene can be read as a productive period bounded by devastation and determination on both sides, Robert Sawyer shows that the years between the World Wars were equally positioned. Examining performance and offering detailed textual analyses, Sawyer considers the re-evaluation of Shakespeare in the Anglo-American sphere after the First World War. Instead of the dried, barren earth depicted by T. S. Eliot and others in the 1920s and 1930s, this book argues that the literary landscape resembled a paradoxically fertile wasteland, for just below the arid plain of the time lay the seeds for artistic renewal and rejuvenation which would finally flourish in the later twentieth century.
|Publisher:||Palgrave Macmillan US|
|Edition description:||1st ed. 2019|
|Product dimensions:||5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Robert Sawyer is Professor of Literature and Language at East Tennessee State University, USA, where he teaches Shakespeare, Victorian Literature, and Literary Criticism. Author of Marlowe and Shakespeare: The Critical Rivalry (Palgrave 2017) and Victorian Appropriations of Shakespeare (2003), he is also co-editor of Shakespeare and Appropriation (1999) and Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare (Palgrave 2001).
Table of ContentsChapter 1: "Introduction."-. Chapter 2: Criticism in the UK: "The Bard of Britannia.".- Chapter 3: Criticism in the US: "The Institutionalization of Shakespeare in the United States.".- Chapter 4: Shakespeare Productions in the US: "The Voices and Sounds of America's Shakespeare.".- Chapter 5: Shakespeare Productions in the UK: "A Sense of Return: 'Tis here, 'tis here, 'tis gone.".- Chapter 6: Conclusion: "Transnational Shakespeare: Then and Now.".
What People are Saying About This
“Robert Sawyer’s engaging and provocative book draws important attention to how Shakespeare is used in response to global crisis. The dialogic relationship between Shakespeare and world politics characterizes both our past and our present, and this book draws important parallels between the rise of fascism in the interwar years and the rise of nationalist politics in the twenty-first century. As such, this book is an important reminder of how the Janus-faced nature of Shakespeare empowers us to use the past in service of the present.” (Louise Geddes, Associate Professor of English, Adelphi University, UK)
“In the Introduction to his Shakespeare between the Wars, Robert Sawyer quotes Walter Benjamin’s reflection on the value of what is past for what is present and vice-versa. The issue, Benjamin argues, is not that each casts a light on the other, but that they produce ‘an image wherein what has been comes together in a flash with the now to form a constellation.’ ‘Constellation’ is indeed a keyword to describe the ways in which Sawyer’s book, hovering – as he says – between past, present and future discusses Shakespeare’s impact and uses (political, cultural, educational) during the interwar period (and much beyond). Sawyer’s deep and discerning sense of ‘live’ history creates a fascinating prismatic image of what we were and are in Shakespeare studies, revisiting background and foreground in entirely new ways. Shakespeare between the Wars is also a highly readable and enjoyable book that should be on the shelves of every scholar, student and reader of English literature.” (Paola Pugliatti, author of Shakespeare and the Just War Tradition (2010))