Shelley's Radical Stages: Performance and Cultural Memory in the Post-Napoleonic Era, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Shelley's Radical Stages

Performance and Cultural Memory in the Post-Napoleonic Era, 1st Edition

By Dana Van Kooy

Routledge

218 pages

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pub: 2016-04-07
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Description

Dana Van Kooy draws critical attention to Percy Bysshe Shelley as a dramatist and argues that his dramas represent a critical paradigm of romanticism in which history is 'staged'. Reading Shelley's dramas as a series of radical stages - historical reenactments and theatrical reproductions - Van Kooy highlights the cultural significance of the drama and the theatre in shaping and contesting constructions of both the sovereign nation and the global empire in the post-Napoleonic era. This book is about the power of performance to challenge and reformulate cultural memories that were locked in historical narratives and in Britain's theatrical repertoire. It examines each of Shelley's dramas as a specific radical stage that reformulates the familiar cultural performances of war, revolution, slavery and domestic tyranny. Shelley's plays invite audiences to step away from these horrors and to imagine their lives as something other than a tragedy or a melodrama where characters are entrapped in cycles of violence or struck blind or silent by fear. Although Shelley's dramas are few in number they engage a larger cultural project of aesthetic and political reform that constituted a groundswell of activism that took place during the Romantic period.

Reviews

"Van Kooy’s bold treatment of Shelley’s dramatic imagination offers new ways to think about the poet’s relationship to both popular culture and radical politics; it also raises questions about the extent of his desire (and capacity) to embrace the more demotic forms of illegitimate theater."

- Philip Connell, Selwyn College, Cambridge, UK in European Romantic Review (2017)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents to come

About the Author

Dana Van Kooy is an Assistant Professor of Transnational Literature, Literary Theory and Culture in the Humanities Department at Michigan Technological University, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT013000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Drama
LIT020000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature