Shakespeare, Brecht, and the Intercultural Sign

Shakespeare, Brecht, and the Intercultural Sign

Post-Contemporary Interventions

More about this series

Book Pages: 312 Illustrations: 9 illustrations Published: September 2001

Author: Antony Tatlow

Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism, Theater and Performance > Theater

In Shakespeare, Brecht, and the Intercultural Sign renowned Brecht scholar Antony Tatlow uses drama to investigate cultural crossings and to show how intercultural readings or performances question the settled assumptions we bring to interpretations of familiar texts. Through a “textual anthropology” Tatlow examines the interplay between interpretations of Shakespeare and readings of Brecht, whose work he rereads in the light of theories of the social subject from Nietzsche to Derrida and in relation to East Asian culture, as well as practices within Chinese and Japanese theater that shape their versions of Shakespearean drama.
Reflecting on how, why, and to what effect knowledges and styles of performance pollinate across cultures, Tatlow demonstrates that the employment of one culture’s material in the context of another defamiliarizes the conventions of representation in an act that facilitates access to what previously had been culturally repressed. By reading the intercultural, Tatlow shows, we are able not only to historicize the effects of those repressions that create a social unconscious but also gain access to what might otherwise have remained invisible.
This remarkable study will interest students of cultural interaction and aesthetics, as well as readers interested in theater, Shakespeare, Brecht, China, and Japan.


“An interesting and commendable contribution to Shakespeare studies and comparative literature. Tatlow has a cogent, complex, and distinctive point of view.” — Hugh H. Grady, author of Shakespeare and Modernity: Early Modern to Millennium

“This work by Antony Tatlow is timely, original, and provocatively and lucidly written. Its theoretical and analytic sophistication makes it a welcome exemplum of East-West comparative study—one that rings with the authority of a seasoned eyewitness no less than that of an erudite thinker.” — Anthony C. Yu, University of Chicago


Availability: In stock
Price: $27.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Antony Tatlow was Professor and Head of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong for many years before assuming his current position as Professor of Comparative Literature and Coordinator of the Graduate Centre for Arts Research at the University of Dublin. His previous books include The Mask of Evil: Brecht’s Response to the Poetry, Theatre, and Thought of China and Japan.

Table of Contents Back to Top


1. Reading the Intercultural: Cultures of Reading

2. Intercultural Signs: Textual Anthropology

3. Desire, Laughter, and the Social Unconscious

4. Historicizing the Unconscious in Plautine and Shakespearean Farce

5. Coriolanus and the Historical Text

6. Macbeth in Kunju Opera



Works Cited

Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing

Winner, 2002 Association of Theater in Higher Education Book Award

Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2763-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2753-0
Publicity material