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Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia, and Cyberspace [Paperback]

Alexander C.Y. Huang , Charles S. Ross

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Book Description

Oct. 15 2009 1557535299 978-1557535290
Recent decades have witnessed diverse incarnations and bold sequences of Shakespeare on screen and stage. Hollywood films and a century of Asian readings of plays such as Hamlet and Macbeth are now conjoining in cyberspace, making a world of difference to how we experience Shakespeare. Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia, and Cyberspace shows readers how ideas of Asia operate in Shakespeare performances and how Asian and Anglo-European forms of cultural production combine to transcend the mode of inquiry that focuses on fidelity. The result is a new creativity that finds expression in different cultural and virtual locations, including recent films and MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games). The papers in the volume provide a background for these modern developments, showing the history of how Shakespeare became a signifier against which Asian and Western cultures defined—and continue to define—themselves. Authors in the first part of the collection examine culture and gender in Hollywood Shakespearean film and complement the second part in which the history of Shakespearean readings and stagings in China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, Malaya, Korea, and Hong Kong are discussed. Papers in the third part of the volume analyze the transformation of the idea of Shakespeare in cyberspace, a rapidly expanding world of new rewritings of both Shakespeare and Asia. Together, the three sections of this comparative study demonstrate how Asian cultures and Shakespeare affect each other and how the combination of Asian and Anglo-European modes of representation are determining the future of how we see Shakespeare’s plays.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Purdue University Press (Oct. 15 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557535299
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557535290
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g

Product Description


“Alex Huang and Charles Ross have produced a superb and illuminating collection, highly original in its understanding of the cultural flows connecting Hollywood and Asia in the digital age. Asian Shakespeare productions are now among the most compelling in the world and are rapidly changing the paradigms of global culture. Fascinating, erudite, and methodologically diverse, the essays in Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia, and Cyberspace are an essential guide to immense changes.”

Peter Donaldson, MIT, author of Shakespearean Films / Shakespearean Directors

Alexander C. Y. Huang and Charles S. Ross s unusual collection of essays, Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia, and Cyberspace, might seem at first glance to be rather less than the sum of its apparently disparate parts. But it is about much more than three different institutions, locations, or media in which Shakespeare has been appropriated and culturally translated. Indeed, as Richard Burt notes in his contribution, it gestures toward a more complicated theorization of Shakespeare s transnational circulation than the unidirectional model of cultural exchange or appropriation favored in postcolonial criticism (p. 231). Instead the volume asks us to think about how Asian audio-visual idioms as much as Shakespeare s texts have been translated in both directions (p. 1). The best essays offer comparative analyses that illuminate this bidirectionality: Mei Zhu examines the influence of Hollywood screwball comedy on both Shakespearean film (specifically Franco Zeffirelli s Taming of the Shrew) and Chinese cinema; Ross considers the transnational circulation of the figure of the underwater woman in Chinese film and Hollywood adaptations of Shakespeare; and Lucian Ghita shows how Julie Taymor s film Titus draws both on Asian theater practices from Japanese bunraku to Indonesian topeng (or masked drama) and on video game representations of body parts. The volume breaks new ground by thinking about how, in the age of transnational capital and the worldwide web, Shakespeare and Asia are globally screened a more suggestive term, given the verb s double visual and obstructive sense, than the customary appropriation.

Studies in English Literature
Spring 2011, 73 pp. 492

About the Author

Alexander C.Y. Huang teaches comparative literature at The Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of Chinese Shakespeares: Two Centuries of Cultural Exchange (2009), and co-editor of Class, Boundary, and Social Discourse in the Renaissance (2007) and Shakespeare Performance in Asia, an open-access digital video archive (http://web.mit.edu/shakespeare/asia/).


Charles S. Ross teaches comparative literature at Purdue University. He has translated Boiardo’s Orlando Innamorato (1989) and Statius’s Thebaid (2004) and is the author of Elizabethan Literature and the Law of Fraudulent Conveyance: Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare (2003) and The Custom of the Castle from Malory to Macbeth (1997).

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars another unexpected April 6 2014
By Robert J. O'Brien - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We will have a discography of Shakespeare's work, and with this book the interested person is led to film. Yes, it gives some detail with the impact of Shakespeare, but it does not indicate whether phonorecordings were done regarding Shakespeare.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book Feb. 24 2014
By Andronikus - Published on Amazon.com
This is a really great book that is really informative. I had not considered until now how Shakespeare's reception in Asia and on the net, so that was great. My favorite article was Richard Burt's. It is hilarious the way he exposes the US cultural imperialism inherent in this supposedly bi-cultural production of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream that is staged in Viet Nam. I like the way he exposes the embarrassing and ridiculous bullying behavior of Professor Browning who thinks she can lord it over the Vietnamese and patronize them and that she is always right. Only someone ridiculous would say to the Vietnamese director of the movie that "Shakespeare is a better director" than he is. The way she and some of the other Americans of that production behaved almost made me embarrassed to be an American. I would recommend this book to any scholar and student interested in Shakespeare and his reception and adaptation on the net and in Asia.

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