Historicizing/Contemporizing Shakespeare

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Christoph Bode, Wolfgang Klooss (Eds.)

Historicizing/Contemporizing Shakespeare. Essays in Honour of Rudolf Böhm

ISBN 978-3-88476-368-1, ISBN 3-88476-368-7, 272 S., kt., € 31,00 (2000)

The work of no other dramatist in world literature is placed so conspicuously in the forcefield of historicity and contemporaneity as that of William Shakespeare. On the one hand, it is evident that, in order to be understood, his plays can and should be read in the context of their origin and that the maxim "always historicize!" (Fredric Jameson) deserves respect and recognition. On the other hand, however, it can hardly be contested that the meaning of these plays always transcends their moments of inception (as does the meaning of all literature). Placed between claims of universality and charges of oppressive particularity, Shakespeare's works pose the questions of where and how – if Shakespeare's 'meaning' is not confined to a reconstructible past, and if every age constructs a Shakespeare in its own image and for its own uses – we draw the limits of what we regard as legitimate appropriation and appropriate response, and of how we define the demarcation line between meaningful encounter and self-obsessed projection. This volume explores the intriguing relationship between historicizing and contemporizing reading strategies in a number of diverse essays – some play-oriented, some theoretical, some reconstructing the original context, some analyzing concrete, historical and contemporary forms of appropriation. Suggesting as they do a variety of different answers to this fundamental and fascinating problem of literary and critical studies, they themselves form an image of the various modes in which we can define our relationship to the Bard today and make him meaningful to us.

Buchvorschau / Inhaltsverzeichnis (pdf)