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Shakespeare Between the World Wars

The Anglo-American Sphere

Authors: Sawyer, Robert

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  • Examines Shakespearean performance and textual analysis during the Interwar period
  • Focuses on Shakespeare innovation in the Anglo-American sphere
  • Considers new creative critical methodologies enacting Shakespeare on stage and screen
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eBook £45.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-58218-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £58.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59063-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

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.  

About the authors

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).


Reviews

Shakespeare Between the Wars is remarkable for its wide range of interests, integrating theatre history with a discussion of new communications technologies to create a compelling account of new possibilities for performance of the plays. Sawyer is particularly strong in analyzing modernist critical attitudes to Shakespearean drama that sometimes resist, but often reinforce the work of practising theatre artists. The book is a comprehensive and an engaging contribution to our knowledge of Shakespeare’s reception in the last century.” (Michael D. Bristol, Professor of English, McGill University, CA, USA)

“‘Between’ emerges as a key term in Robert Sawyer’s Shakespeare Between the World Wars, denoting not merely its historical focus on the interwar period, but also its conceptual and theoretical concern with how Shakespeare is formed between countries and institutions, pages and library walls, amateurs, fans and emerging professional scholars, and between aesthetics and politics, to become a truly transnational property. Sawyer uncovers transformations in the transmission of Shakespeare, from those early impulses to individualise the experience of the plays through private study to later efforts to institutionalize the works in universities and libraries. Anyone interested in the history of Shakespeare’s appropriation and in Shakespeare as a transnational, media enabled, and culturally contingent phenomenon should read this book. (Stephen O’Neill, Senior Lecturer of English, National University of Ireland Maynooth and editor of Broadcast Your Shakespeare: Continuity and Change Across Media (2017)) 

“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))

 

 

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook £45.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-58218-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £58.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59063-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Shakespeare Between the World Wars
Book Subtitle
The Anglo-American Sphere
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-58218-8
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-58218-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-59063-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 314
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
Topics