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ReviewsAll sular and xenophobic Englishness. How much of that Shakespeareabetted intolerance has survived in Americanness is an unsettling question which Shapiro ultimately raises—and leaves for others to explore. If there is a gap in Shapiro's eloquent and informative book, it is its incomplete treatment of the law issues involved in the English attitude toward Jews in the commonwealth. Although Shapiro notes Henry VIII's invocation of Jewish law to justify his divorce, his revelations of both anti- and philo-semitism mainly describe Protestant fictions about Jews, or millennial considerations, rather than the ways in which real Jewish law and social organization were perceived as unassimilable within English culture. Ireland's recent referendum which resulted in the legalization of divorce provided an unpleasant reminder of how such fears can be invoked in defense of a "national" morality: during the debate one Irish politician asked whether the Jewish Mervyn Taylor, Ireland 's Minister for Equality and Law Reform, had any right to vote on laws pertaining to Christian marriage. This contemporary instance of insular suspicion of unfamiliar cultural tradition raises questions about early-modern anti-Semitism as well: did Puritan and Stuart (if not Tudor) emphasis on the sanctity of marriage clash with Judaic law's permission to divorce? Further, did the Talmudic validation of the woman's role in the transmission of racial identity conflict with earlymodern notions of patrilineal genetic continuance? The answers to these questions may, of course, be no: that English resistance to Judaism was not so well-educated or considered. But the questions are worth asking. We can be grateful, then, for Shapiro's remarkable compendium of information, which not only illuminates the ways in which early modern Englishmen imagined Jewishness but opens a space for inquiry into England's ambivalent responses to real Jewish tradition. This book greatly diminishes Shylock's mystery and provides firm ground on which to proceed with further questions about Shakespeare, the English, the Christians, and the Jews. GRACE TIFFANY Western Michigan University Amy Koritz. Gendering Bodies/Performing Art: Dance and Literature in Early Twentieth-Century British Culture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995. Pp. ? + 218. $37.50. For all the talk of culture these days, it is still surprisingly rare in the fields of twentieth-century literary, performance, and cultural studies to find a book that fully embraces the interdisciplinary opportunities afforded by our expanded understanding of cultural production. When excursions into other cultural fields do take place (and these are increasingly frequent), they tend to do so from within the boundaries of 418Comparative Drama stubbornly persistent disciplinary concerns. AU the more valuable, then, is a book like Gendering Bodies/ Performing Art, Amy Koritz' study of the cultural preoccupations and modes of intersection governing dance and literature in late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain. Koritz' dual expertise in dance history and literary studies is evident throughout this book, and it allows her an almost bilingual facility with cultural discourses traditionally seen in isolation. The burden of Gendering Bodies/Performing Art is to demonstrate that these discourses have been historically implicated in each other and in broader ideological and aesthetic concerns. The overlap of these discourses, Koritz argues, was particularly pronounced between the 1890's and the early 1920's, a period that witnessed in both dance and literature the emergence of modernism out of its precursor symbolism, a crisis over female sexuality and the gendering of artistic creation, and a heightened interest in questions of class, culture high and low, and the body's role in performance. Gendering Bodies/Performing Art is organized in a series of chapters that juxtapose figures involved in dance—Maud Allan, Isadora Duncan, and members of the Russian Ballet who performed in London during the company's celebrated seasons in the 1910's and 1920's— with figures in the world of literature, theater, and aesthetic theory: Arthur Symons, Edward Gordon Craig, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, and T. S. Eliot. Though her choices in both fields are largely canonical, Koritz moves between disciplines in a way that re-contextualizes writers, artists, and works that one thought one knew well. By juxtaposing Wilde's Salomé with Allan's music...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 417-420
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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