Local Shakespeares : Proximations and Power book cover
1st Edition

Local Shakespeares
Proximations and Power

ISBN 9780415348799
Published August 8, 2005 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

This remarkable volume challenges scholars and students to look beyond a dominant European and North American 'metropolitan bank' of Shakespeare knowledge. As well as revealing the potential for a new understanding of Shakespeare's plays, Martin Orkin adopts a fresh approach to issues of power, where 'proximations' emerge from a process of dialogue and challenge traditional notions of authority.

Divided into two parts this book:

  • encourages us to recognise the way in which 'local' or 'non-metropolitan' knowledges and experiences might extend understanding of Shakespeare's texts and their locations
  • demonstrates the use of local as well as metropolitan knowledges in exploring the presentation of masculinity in Shakespeare's late plays. These plays themselves dramatise encounters with different cultures and, crucially, challenges to established authority.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements.  Introduction: Travelling to Shakespeare's Late Plays  Part 1: Local Knowledge and Shakespeare's Global Texts  2. Intersecting Knowledges: Shakespeare in Timbuktu  3. Active Readers: Whose Muti in the Web of it?  4. William Tshikinya -Chaka I Presume? Cultural Encounter in Performance  Part 2: Encountering Men in Shakespeare's Late Plays  Prologue: The 'Infirmities of Men' in Pericles.  Cymbeline: 'That Most Venerable Man Which/I did Call my Father'.  The Winter's Tale: 'Let No Man Mock Me'.  The Tempest: 'Any Strange Beast there Makes a Man'.  Afterword: The Unruliness of Patriarchy.  Select Bibliography

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Martin Orkin, who teaches in the Departments of English and Theatre at the University of Haifa, is author of Shakespeare Against Apartheid and Drama and the South African State. He is also co-editor, with Ania Loomba, of Postcolonial Shakespeares, and editor of At the Junction: Four Plays by the Junction Avenue Theatre Company.


'Local Shakespeares shows just how timid and predictable most comparative criticism is. Timid and predictable Local Shakespeares is not.' - Bruce Smith, University of Southern California, USA

'This is a lively, combative book which merits a place among the relatively few new books on Shakespeare which are worth pulling off the library shelf more than once... This is a significant critical intervention and a valuable contribution to Shakespeare studies, not least because Orkin's readings of the late plays incorporate the insights of many other fine critics, but because his own scholarship and sensitivity illuminate each of the plays with which he engages.' - Michael Jardine, Literature and History