Worlds Elsewhere

Worlds Elsewhere A Book About How Shakespeare Became Fascinated With The World, And How The World Became Fascinated With Shakespeare The First Book Of Its KindThere Are 83 Copies Of The First Folio In A Vault Beneath Capitol Hill, The World S Largest Collection Well Over 150 Indian Movies Are Based On Shakespeare S Plays Than In Any Other Nation If Current Trends Continue, There Will Soon Be High School Students Reading The Merchant Of Venice In Mandarin Chinese Than In Early Modern English Why Did This Happen And How Ranging Ambitiously Across Four Continents And 400 Years, Worlds Elsewhere Is An Eye Opening Account Of How Shakespeare Went Global Seizing Inspiration From The Playwright S Own Fascination With Travel, Foreignness And Distant Worlds, Dickson Takes Us On An Extraordinary Journey From Hamlet Performed By English Actors Tramping Through Poland In The Early 1600s To Twenty First Century Shanghai, Where Shashibiya Survived Mao S Cultural Revolution To Become An Honored Chinese Author.En Route We Visit Nazi Germany, Where Shakespeare Became An Unlikely Favorite, And Delve Into The History Of Bollywood, Where Shakespearean Stories Helped Give Birth To Indian Cinema In Johannesburg, We Discover How Shakespeare Was Enlisted Into The Fight To End Apartheid In California, We Encounter Him As The Most Popular Playwright Of The American Frontier.Both A Cultural History And A Literary Travelogue, The First Of Its Kind, Worlds Elsewhere Explores How Shakespeare Became The World S Writer, And How His Works Have Changed Beyond All Recognition During The Journey. I really wanted to like this Honestly It was just way too rambling for my liking There was almost no chapters Maybe 5 In a book this length It s like 500 pages long He just picked a section of the world and sort of rambled on and on about it, eventually coming to a point and going back and rambling on about the history back up to present It was entirely unstructured There really was no rhyme or reason for what he decided to delve into For example, he spends an ENORMOUS about of time with South Africa and the prison there, when it was admitted to him from the beginning that they didn t have much to do with Shakespeare How many interviews does it take to get this across I mean, these men are 80 years old Was it necessary to track every one down to tell him the same thing It s not that I don t find the history in South Africa to be interesting but I m not reading the book for that.Or how he spent an inordinate amount of time describing the on going construction of various theater houses in England, and abroad, and how they were either recreations of Shakespeare
The range and scope of this rather hefty tome has a certain wow factor for anyone interested in its subject the extent to which Shakespeare s works have been able to be fruitfully transferred and meaningfully adapted to other places and cultures on the globe Such an esoteric subject will not necessarily appeal to all but that is neither here nor there.There is no doubt that the appeal of Shakespeare is increasingly widespread globally, and Dickson attempts to come to grips with this phenomenon In the process, many associated issues e.g political, social, humanistic, etc come to the fore, and while for the most part they might be raised only in passing, the discussion of each issue raised does not necessarily provide for totally satisfactory explanations indeed, in many cases they may raise even intriguing questions in the mind of the reader Be that as it may, the very raising of these issues does point to a need to understand just what it is about Shakespeare that appears to be so appealing to so many.Dickson s approach is to limit his initial researches to five distinct and diverse locations Poland Germany the United States India South Africa and China Part of the pleasure of this work is that it consists in a kind of travelogue taken by the author to each of these locations , so that in each case, we are seeing those countries from a modern perspective often enough a fascinating process in its
This is an interesting and enjoyable book I had the honor to be a guest lecturer on Elizabethan drama to the graduate English class at Kangwon National University in South Korea in 1983 I became very aware of different interpretations of Shakespeare from different cultural, language and ethnic backgrounds Andrew Dickson has expanded on the cultural clash and admiration for Shakespeare worldwide, by examining it from the perspectives of different countries, different political situations and different time periods.Shakespeare was popular, surprisingly so, in the USA during the 19th century, where printed copies were read out loud to illiterate mountain men and stage productions were a favorite recreation in the gold rush days of California.In Germany, Shakespeare was popular almost from the time of the original plays, through the German romantic period, and into a major problem for the Nazis.In India, Shakespeare came along with English colonization, and has been popular in the native translations and adaptations than most Europeans had ever known Some of the earliest films, and many of the successful theatre productions in India have been based on Shakespeare s plays, dialogue and characters.I had not known that one of the earlier black South African journalists, linguist and political activists, Solomon Plaatje, had translated Shakespeare into his native language, Setswana, and perhaps this is the first translation into any African language at all Dickson
Note I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads This book investigates the ways in which Shakespeare s works have been received, embraced, and reinterpreted around the globe The author recounts his travels to places like Germany, India, and South Africa a Shakespeare library in Washington, D.C. and a city in Poland where a theatre director has built a replica of one of Shakespeare s theatres not the Globe , while also recounting a history of how Shakespeare s works have influenced the culture of those respective countries.I ll be honest I didn t finish this book I got about halfway through I thought I was interested in the subject matter when I started, but as layer upon layer of historical minutiae piled up, my will to continue reading drained away So I won t give the book a full review I don t think it s fair to do that with a book I didn t finish.I don t actually think it s a bad book, and the leve
I m very glad I picked up this book, and glad to have the extensive bibliography at the back of the book to continue exploring and discovering new things about Shakespeare in film and theatre around the world I can see myself going back to this book many times to uncover about Shakespeare s influence and how people all over the world interpret his works.Side notes The cover design on the copy I found was the one with the drawing of Shakespeare wearing backpacking gear which I found hilarious and awesome Oddly enough, as I was reading this book, the Folger Library s Shakespeare Unlimited podcast which I recommend released episodes about some of the same exact things Mr Dickson came across on his journeys the quotes from Sonny Venkatrathnam were quite different from what was said about his copy of the Complete Works in the episode about The Robben Island Bible, which was odd and made me laugh I can see why the episode
This book offers a look at how Shakespeare s plays are performed and interpreted all over the world I enjoyed the glimpses into life in faraway places, such as India, China, and South Africa I also enjoyed all the new ways of looking at such fam
What do Germans think of Shakespeare How is Shakespeare acted in India How long have Shakespeare plays been performed in China These are some of the questions addressed in this fascinating book British literary critic Andrew Dickson had the opportunity to travel to Poland, Germany, the United States, India, South Africa, and China to learn about the study and performance of Shakespeare in those countries This review can barely scratch the surface of what I learned from reading this book For instance, Shakespeare inspired Germans like Goethe and Schiller In the nineteenth century, Germans adopted him as our Shakespeare, a North European, spiritually German writer During World War I, Germans even produced Henry V, a play generally used to inspire British troops, to inspire German patriotism Of course British colonialism is one reason Shakespeare s
Sometimes I pick a book by its cover or title, especially nonfiction, as that can be enough to interest me I certainly did that with this book The shocking surprise was that it wasn t at all about what I thought it would be I was expecting history of the world during the time of Shakespeare Instead, I was thrilled to find myself swept away for an epic journey around the world to find the works of Shakespeare and how they are produced, received, taught, etc from Germany to Taiwan Andrew Dickson s narration of his e
I have to admit that I chose this book mainly out of obligation as a person with two degrees in English But what I found was completely unexpected The author travels the globe Germany, India, South Africa, China, the United States to explore how different countries and cultures interpret and reinterpret Shakespeare s words So interesting I didn t know the Germany is home to the oldest Shakespeare club in the world It had never o
Very interesting study of global interest in, expansion and implications of Shakespeare s works particularly that they were initially embraced a lot by Germany than UK, and adaptations translations in S Africa.

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  • Hardcover
  • 496 pages
  • Worlds Elsewhere
  • Andrew Dickson
  • 02 May 2017
  • 9780805097344