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Reviews225 New World." T. B. Strong's "Nietzsche's Political Aesthetics" tries to establish that the author's political intentions did not envision domination, but rather transfiguration dirough art. Kofman's "Baubô: Theological Perversion and Fetishism" attempts to prove that Nietzsche was not really a misogynist, even though it remains hard to see how Nietzsche's linking of seduction and perversion to the feminine gender would clear him of the charge. In "Nietzsche's New Experience of the World" Fink explores the author's anthropology and cosmology, and finds that, for Nietzsche, individuals postulate their personal worldview, and thus create a fictional universe which includes themselves. Finally , in "The Drama of Zarathustra," Gadamer reflects upon Nietzsche's emphasis on play being both a beginning and a goal in the view of the eternal recurrence of things. This attempt to introduce an innovative understanding of Nietzsche must be considered unsuccessful. Despite the emphasis on text, the findings of the nine critics are really rather traditional, and there is a notable lack of unity due to their different disciplines and backgrounds. Therefore, the realms of philosophy , aesthetics, and politics in Nietzsche's work fail to be transcended by the "new approach." Still, this volume succeeds in providing an interesting survey of recent scholarship on Nietzsche, perhaps because of its diversified views. An integrated bibliography would have been a welcome complement to the good index and the short biographical notes about the contributors. The attractive dustcover with a reproduction of Klee's Ships setting sads deserves particular praise. University of ManitobaGaby Divay Shakespeare and the Dramaturgy ofPower, byJohn D. Cox; xviii & 282 pp. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989, $29.50. Back in the seventies, the wife of a history professor complained to me at a dinner party, "There's no future in history." On the contrary, in recent years history has found at least another dimension in the flurry of "new" critical approaches to literature. Although this book is indebted to New Historicism, it "entails a sustained critique ofNew Historicist assumptions. Put in the simplest terms, [the author's] argument is that New Historicists are right, but for inadequate reasons" (p. x). In applying the New Historicist dialectic to the Renaissance , Professor Cox says that what is "residual" in this dialectic is Christian political realism, rooted in St. Augustine. The influence on Shakespeare, however, has come not from TL· City of God 226Philosophy and Literature direcdy but by way of the medieval mystery play, which Cox calls in this context the "residual tradition." His argument is that perhaps even more important than Shakespeare's Elizabethan attitude toward power was the way in which his view of privilege and power was influenced by popular religious drama. How the latter is revealed in Shakespeare's plays constitutes the central focus of this book. The first three chapters, culminating in a discussion of "Tudor Power and the New Fashion," are introductory and lead into a discussion of the plays themselves. What links Shakespeare with the medieval mystery plays, according to Cox, is Peele's David and Bethsabe. In this play he sees a "human and demystifying image of royalty" (p. 59), the paradox of kingship finding its true essence in a configuration to the humility ofJesus. Although the culmination of the Tudor Age was reflected in a high style, "refined and exclusive," it was challenged by the social relationships of the age. Cox, in chapter 4, finds Shakespeare's early comedies deconstructive because the remains of medieval dramaturgy undermine in them not only the classical dramatic structure but the social implications as well. While Shakespeare is careful to follow neoclassical norms in TL· Comedy ofErrors, the socially upward striving characteristic of the Renaissance is undercut by the reunion in the final moments of the play of the two Dromios—now social equals. We find a similar ambivalence in the history plays. The Tudors tried to parallel English history with the Roman drive towards imperialism, but Shakespeare's indebtedness to fifteenth-century political realism "emphasizes contingency and human volition in the secular past rather than sacred direction in history" (p. 93). For example, as Shakespeare describes the death of York in 3 Henry VI, verbal parallels with the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
p. 225
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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