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Reviews353 The pursuit ofthe "universal" and "authentic" Shakespeare as a frame for performances of the plays and for scholarly enterprises of any sort is called into question again and again. So is spectatorship and the tensions between sight and site, as well as Hodgdon's own performance in a quasi-theatric construction of selfas -viewer,perhaps oneofthe most interesting meoretical positionings in thebook. The book's first chapters situate Hodgdon in the authorial subject position, she exposes the arbitrariness ofthat position in the middle chapters, and, in the last ones, assumes, in a sense, her critical role as a character in her arguments. This is not to say that The Shakespeare Trade doesn't offer much to readers interested in more than post-post-modern authorial positioning. Hodgdon's analysis of performed Shakespeare in this century reveals traffics in the value of taste, and by implication, what marks social class, during this period. Her identification of a circulation of value created by Shakespeare's "high" iconic status in twentieth-century culture as author and the"low" ofthe plays' market economies, an interplay articulated by reviewers, scholars, and the Shakespeare Trust, points toward the inevitable emergence ofwhat John Seabrook has called a "no-brow" culture, a site most conspicuously seen at Stratford-on-Avon. Hodgdon has written a book which contributes in significant and serious ways to the study ofShakespeare's plays. Each chapter isjudicious in its choices of works, careful in its considerations, and "thick" in descriptions as well as copious in its illustrations. The book is a rich read: thoughtful, convincing, clear, and often fun. SARA EATON North Central College-Naperville, IL ALLEN CAREY-WEBB. Making Subject(s): Literature and the Emergence ofNational Identity. Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Volume 4. New York, London: Garland Publishing , 1998. Pp. xiv + 242. $55.00. Carey-Webb's book is a piece of cultural research which studies how literary texts construct authority and subjectivity. The book is organized in two parts plus a theoretical introduction. In the first part Carey-Webb writes about seventeenth-century European theater, comparing Lope de Vega's El nuevo mundo descubierto por Cristobal Colon and Shakespeare's The Tempest. The second part addresses the twentieth-century third world novel, with one chapter about Les bouts de bois de Dieu by the Senegalese Ousmane Sembene, and the other about Midnight's Children by the Indian Salman Rushdie. Working 354Comparative Drama with a very heterogeneous group oftexts, he uses different theoretical approaches in order to understand the links between them. The final result is both enlightening and risk-taking, even, sometimes, breath-taking. We have only to notice that Carey-Webb not only compares different national literatures, but also different cultural perspectives (First World versus Third World), different epochs (seventeenth century versus twentieth century), different ways of telling (and presenting) stories (theater versus novel), and different discourses (colonial and post-colonial). Carey-Webb's reflections start from the controversyamong Fredric Jameson, Aijaz Ahmad, Prasad Madhava, and others about the rhetorical nature and agency of Third World Literature and the concept of the Third World novel as a necessary representation ofnational history (national allegory). MakingSubjects is about how modern literature establishes national identity, and the critique ofnation making is the common ground which allows the author to compare a wide range of cultural elements mentioned above: perspectives, epochs, ways of telling, and discourses. The book's introduction elaborates Benedict Anderson's thesis (in Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin andSpread ofNationalism) about how human subjects become capable ofimagining themselves part of a national community that they defend wholeheartedly, even though it is abstract and repressive. According to Anderson, the development ofa capitalist marketplace for printed books in European vernacular languages in the context of a massive, urban, anonymous,"clock time" form of culture makes possible the socio-semiotic process: to become national. Carey-Webb's analysis is especially attractive for readers interested in drama. He searches for the historical place and socio-semiotic function ofearly modern European drama in the cultural economy, arguing that the true antecedents of what we would today describe as a national conscious begin to appear in the sixteenth century. John A. Armstrong argues that in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 353-355
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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