- The Elizabethan Theatre XV. Papers Given at the Fifteenth and Sixteenth International Conferences on Elizabethan Theatre Held at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario ed. by C.E. McGee, A.L. Magnusson (review)
- University of Toronto Quarterly
- University of Toronto Press
- Volume 73, Number 1, Winter 2003/04
- pp. 194-195
- View Citation
- Additional Information
194 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 account of an incident involving his entertainment by Powhatan women, including Pocahontas. This chapter explores the intertextual relationship between the histories of the New World and the literature of the Old. Bach makes a strong case for the influence of Jonson=s aristocratic masques on Smith=s account of the >Virginia Maske.= The transformative aspect of this influence is multifaceted as Smith transforms himself, his Generall Historie, and Pocahontas and the Powhatan women themselves. Bach=s close reading of this episode demonstrates the complex interaction of gender, colonialism, and self-articulation at play in this well-known colonial text. Bach ends her book with a brief epilogue (>Late Twentieth-Century Transformations: Pocahontas and Captain John Smith in Late-Twentieth Century Jamestown=) in which she examines the continuing presence of what she refers to as the >undifferentiated Indian.= This is manifest in the contemporary displays of the Jamestown museum and its gift shop, which fail to correct long-standing misinterpretations of Native American cultures and their interaction with European and Euro-American dominance. Rebecca Ann Bach=s book is at its best when reading literary texts in the context of non-literary colonial writings and explicating the transformative and destructive elements of colonialism in the New Atlantic world. (SCOTT MANNING STEVENS) C.E. McGee and A.L. Magnusson, editors, with Valerie Creelman and Todd Pettigrew. The Elizabethan Theatre XV. Papers Given at the Fifteenth and Sixteenth International Conferences on Elizabethan Theatre Held at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario P.D. Meany. xviii, 339. $59.00 Of the fifteen contributors to this volume of essays, ten are Canadian. So too are the editors and support staff. I say this not at all to complain of provincialism, or even by way of tacit acknowledgment that a set of conference papers based on an occasional conference at the University of Waterloo is apt to be dominantly Canadian, but in admiring tribute to the astonishing contributions that Canadian scholars continue to make to textual studies and performance history. The individual essays here are consistently interesting and original. They are also coherently organized into an extended debate on cutting-edge critical questions. The first major topic is >Collective Invention and Collaboration.= Paul Werstine leads off with a historical critique of his favourite shipping-boys, W.W. Greg and company, for highlighting individual artistic composition at the expense of collective activity. Suzanne Gossett takes the Middleton project as her model for rethinking instances of collaborative authorship. Jeffrey Masten argues for a new kind of reading that will be sensitive to the likelihood of collaboration rather than single humanities 195 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 authorship. Kathleen McLuskie talks about the commercial context of theatrical activity as a venue in which collaboration naturally thrived. Richard Hillman discusses a different sort of >collaboration= B if that is the right term for work that is continued by another writer or writers after the original dramatist=s death. Arguably, this is a matter of stage history rather than collaboration in the usual sense, though Hillman wants to demonstrate that the additions to The Spanish Tragedy >pick up and expand an element latent in the original=; Hieronimo=s original lines addressed to the old Bazulto as a >lively image= of Hieronimo=s own grief >prepare the way for the more fully developed psychological interaction with the Painter that comprises the Fourth Addition.= Michael Keefer, writing about Doctor Faustus, is interested too in what Jeffrey Masten has called >diachronic forms of collaboration.= He argues convincingly (in a response to Leah Marcus, for whom the two early texts are alike in their radicalism) that the A-text is a >radically interrogative text= while the B-text is >an Aorthodox effacement@ of its heterodoxy.= Moreover, we need to bear in mind Roma Gill=s conjecture that actors may well have collaborated in the problematic texts we have. Helen Ostovich=s excellent essay is perhaps done a disservice by its inclusion in this debate on collaboration, for her exploration of what she calls a >Cultural Collaboration= involves Ben Jonson in an >uneasy collaboration...