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Reviews119 rect term is asobibe. I also wish mat he would acknowledge those plays offemale jealousy and revenge such as Dôjôji, diat demonstrate die continuity of male dread offemale sexuality and of Buddhism's failure to quell fully pre-Buddhist (female dominated) religions. Moving away from texts and the medieval period, Brown offers an investigation of Hideyoshi's performances as himself. From 1590-1598, when he was de facto ruler ofJapan, Hideyoshi starred in Noh plays written to commemorate events prior to their occurrence as well as his nonexistent military victories. This example circles back to Brown's introduction, as if tying his arguments widi a neat ribbon: Noh is an active performative mat makes reality happen, not a passive reflection of reality. This slim volume is essential reading for anyone interested in Japanese tiieater , culture, history, politics, or gender relations. Brown has skillfully woven togedier a broad spectrum oftheoretical formulations, close readings, and careful historicizing. He joins a small but growing list ofdistinguished Japan scholars (such asAyako Kano,Jane Marie Law, Susan Blakely Klein, Jennifer Robertson, Helen Bargen, and Susan Napier) willing and able to grapple with contemporary critical dieory. I say "grapple" because for many Japan specialists, there remains a deeply troubling and veryvalid question about the appropriateness of applying Western dieories to other cultures. Witii apologies to Roland Barthes, die issue is the potential for me imposition of a kind of intellectual imperialism —a Eurocentric "Empire of Theories." With only occasional lapses, Brown negotiates diis dangerous territory witii grace and vigor. Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei University ofCalifornia, Los Angeles AlbertWertheim. TheDramaticArtofAtholFugard:From South Africa to the World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000. Pp. xv + 273. $39.95 casebound; $17.95 paperbound. The subtide ofAlbertWertheim's brilliant study ofthe Soutii African playwright Athol Fugard, From South Africa to the World, is doubly resonant. Intending to demonstrate diat "In Fugard's dramas, Soudi African problems become larger global problems" so that "audiences around die world feel the issues in their hearts, debate me issues in dieir minds," die subtitle also indicates the great strength of Wertheim's comparative approach: at every turn, his study makes reference to other works of world literature that invariably help illuminate Fugard's impact and convince us not only ofthe plays' importance to the world 120Comparative Drama of Soudi African antiapartheid politics but of dieir universality and historical significance as works of dramatic literature. Never are mese references—from Shakespeare to Brecht, Beckett, Albee, and D. H. Hwang—made for dieir own sake or merely to flaunt the autiior's extraordinary erudition; rather, they are invariably on-target and cast unexpected beams of light onto the plays themselves . In addition to die breadth ofliterary reference,Wertheim has also clearly steeped himself in Soudi African history and politics so that The Dramatic Art of Athol Fugard achieves bodi a breadth of literary reference and a concrete specificity diat are rare indeed. Wertheim's study of Fugard is straightforward structurally, beginning witii the playwright's earliest works such as No-Good Friday (1958) and Nongogo (1959) and concludingwidi the most recent,postapartheid works MyLife (1994), Valley Song (1995), and the autobiographical The Captains Tiger (1998). Not surprisingly, he is at his best in analyzing two of Fugard's mostjusdy celebrated works, A Lessonfrom Aloes (1978) and "Master Harold"... and the Boys (1982). These two works are treated together in a chapter entitled "The Drama as Teaching and Learning: Trauerspiel, Tragedy, Hope, and Race." Both plays are seen as teaching dieterrible lessons ofapartheid,yet do so according to a method mat avoids the pitfalls of overt didacticism. According to Wertheim, Fugard's skill in these plays is due to his interweaving ofrealistic detail with the symbolic. Thus, die opening stage image of? Lessonfrom Aloes is analyzed to reveal how die characters'clotiiing (Piet, bare-chested in shorts and sandals, his wife Gladys, delicate,fully clotiied and wearing sunglasses) echoes botii dieir marital discord and dieir very different strategies for survival; he concludes that "Gladys is, emotionally as well as physiologically, a woman with sensitive skin, and unlike Afrikaners like her husband,she is not able to survive diat sensitivityeffectively" (120).Wertheim notes that Fugard's skill...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 119-122
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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