Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia, and Cyberspace Paperback – Oct 15 2009
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“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.
From the Inside Flap
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 definedand continue to definethemselves. 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.See all Product Description