Shakespeare Remains: Theater to Film, Early Modern to Postmodern

Lehmann, Courtney

Published by Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y, 2002
ISBN 10: 0801439744 / ISBN 13: 9780801439742
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Synopsis: No literary figure has proved so elusive as Shakespeare. How, Courtney Lehmann asks, can the controversies surrounding the Bard's authorship be resolved when his works precede the historical birth of that modern concept? And how is it that Shakespeare remains such a powerful presence today, years after poststructuralists hailed the "death of the author"? In her cogent book, Lehmann reexamines these issues through a new lens: film theory.An alternative to literary models that either minimize or exalt the writer's creative role, film theory, in Lehmann's view, perceives authorship as a site of constitutive conflict, generating in the process the notion of the auteur. From this perspective, she offers close readings of Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Hamlet, of film adaptations by Kenneth Branagh, Baz Luhrmann, and Michael Almereyda, and of John Madden's Shakespeare in Love. In their respective historical contexts, these plays and films emerge as allegories of authorship, exploiting such strategies as appropriation, adaptation, projection, and montage. Lehmann explores the significance of this struggle for agency, both in Shakespeare's time and in the present day, in the cultures of early and late capitalism.By projecting film theory from the postmodern to the early modern and back again, Lehmann demonstrates the ways in which Shakespeare emerges as a special effect―indeed, as an auteur―in two cultures wherein authors fear to tread.

Review: "This is a first-rate study-densely written, expertly controlled, and intellectually invigorating. . . Shakespeare Remains is a rare work-an original reflection on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century theater and an important contribution to discussion about 'the contestatory nature of Shakespeare's inheritance.'. . . Will significantly change perceptions of "Shakespeare" in all of his historical guises."―Mark Thornton Burnett, Shakespeare Quarterly, Volume 54.4, Winter 2003

"Overall, Lehmann's book is itself a montage of sorts, an intelligent, inventive engagement between Shakespeare studies and post-modern theory."―Virginia Quarterly Review 179:2

"Equally smart and timely, Courtney Lehmann's Shakespeare Remains: Theater to Film, Early Modern to Postmodern is both original and conceptually brilliant. . . Assured work by one of the best scholars of Shakespeare's films, this is a 'don't miss' book."―Barbara Hodgdon, Studies in English Literature, 42:2

"Shakespeare Remains . . . provides readers of Shakespeare and performance practitioners with an accessible critical perspective that links the literary body of Shakespeare's received texts to contemporary film adaptations of his plays."―Joe Falocco, Catawba College, Renaissance Quarterly

"The issue of authorship―its history, meaning, and significance―is what Courtney Lehmann explores in her book Shakespeare Remains: Theatre to Film, Early Modern to Postmodern."―Ken Wong, Consciousness, LIterature and the Arts, 4:2, July 2003.

"In Shakespeare Remains Courtney Lehmann moves thoughtfully into the ongoing discussion of Shakespeare's 'after-life' in post-modern culture. This book is wide-ranging and delightfully clever."―Frances Dolan, Miami University

"Shakespeare Remains is original, distinctive and conceptually brilliant: it is a very smart book. Courtney Lehmann brings a dazzling command of theory to individual texts as well as to her fresh readings of filmed Shakespeare."―Barbara Hodgdon, Drake University

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Title: Shakespeare Remains: Theater to Film, Early ...
Publisher: Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good

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