Worlds Elsewhere

Worlds Elsewhere

Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe

Book - 2016
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"There 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-more than in any other nation. If current trends continue, there will soon be more 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 Shakespearian 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2016
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780805097344
0805097341
9780805097351
Branch Call Number: 822.33 Di
Characteristics: xxvii, 484 pages ; 25 cm

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bwortman Oct 07, 2016

Inspired by an international Shakespeare festival held in London in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics, journalist Dickson decides to explore just what has made Shakespeare and his plays such an international sensation. Over the next few years he travels to Germany, the USA, India, South Africa, and China to explore the history and various iterations of Shakespeare and his works in these widely varying locales. Dickson explores questions like how much the plays remain Shakespeare's when translated into other (contemporary) languages and contexts, whether the wide dissemination of the plays is just a result of colonialism rather than global appeal, and the different political uses for the Bard and his plays, among others. Part travelogue, part history, and part critical exploration Shakespeare's plays in multiple cultural contexts, the book is a fascinating exploration of just why so many people continue to read and perform plays in times and places far-flung from the Bard's origins rendered in beautifully evocative prose. Recommended for Shakespeare fans who enjoy a dose of armchair travel.

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