Shakespeare and Modernism

Shakespeare and Modernism

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Cary DiPietro
Cambridge University Press, 2/9/2006
EAN 9780521845397, ISBN10: 0521845394

Hardcover, 244 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.7 cm
Language: English

Artists and writers in early twentieth-century England engaged in a variety of ways with the cultural traditions of Shakespeare as a means of defining and relating what they understood to be their own unique historical experience. In Shakespeare and Modernism, Cary DiPietro expands upon the established studies of this field by uncovering the connections and contexts that unite a broad range of cultural practices, from theatrical and book production, including that of Edward Gordon Craig and Harley Granville-Barker, to literary constructions of Shakespeare by high modernists such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. Important contexts for the discussion include Marxist aesthetic theory contemporary with the period, the Nietzschean and Freudian contexts of English modernism and early twentieth-century feminism. An original and accessible study, this book will appeal to students and scholars of both Shakespeare and modernism alike.

List of illustrations
1. The Shakespeare revolution
2. Sex, lies and historical fictions
3. The theatre and a changing civilization
4. Shakespeare's text in performance, circa 1923
5. How many children had Virginia Woolf?

This book mines a rich archive of materials to describe Shakespeare's role as a cultural agent and register within British modernism from 1900 to 1935. As such, Shakespeare and Modernism joins the work of Hugh Grady, Richard Halpern, Terence Hawkes and others in confirming the strong, almost ineradicable bond between Shakespeare's works and the textures of modernist literature and performance ... Happily, the author is a compelling storyteller, and this book is at its best when DiPietro relates gossipy stories about Shakespeare's presence within modernism ... What remains particularly stimulating about this book is not merely the new information about these figures that DiPietro has turned up in British archives, but the extensive web of relations one can discern among them when following out their interest in and deployment of Shakespearean material ... The author's survey takes us, for instance, from A. C. Bradley's character criticism to Oscar Wilde's The Portrait of Mr W. H. and James Joyce's Ulysses, all the time deftly shedding light upon texts that - while we thought we knew - look quite different when read alongside each other this way.' Review of English Studies '... persuasive contribution to the critical history of the Modernist of Avon.' Times Literary Supplement