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    Title: Local and Presentist Ecocritical Shakespeare in East Asia
    Other Titles: 東亞莎士比亞研究在生態視角下的當代性與在地性
    Authors: Iris Ralph
    Keywords: Akira Kurosawa;Ming-chin Tsai;Shakespeare;Romeo and Juliet;Macbeth;butterflies;deforestation;ecocriticism;localism;presentism
    Date: 30 June
    Issue Date: 2017-10-31 02:11:06 (UTC+8)
    Publisher: Tamkang University
    Abstract: In studies that focus on the phenomenon of Shakespeare in Asia, scholars argue that a great deal of it has little to do with promoting serious intellectual discourse and pressing cultural commentary and much to do with showing off knowledge of the English language and one of its greatest purveyors. Shen Lin voices that argument in an essay that focuses on Shakespeare in China, where lavish and expensive mainstream productions of Shakespeare are catering to a socio-political class, "the new patricians of the People's Republic," who are eager to acquire and display knowledge of a "Shashibiya" that is "thematically" out of tune "with contemporary Chinese reality." Similarly, Rustom Bharucha characterizes the phenomenon of Shakespeare in Asia as the desperate attempt by "Old England . . . to cover its colonial past by seeking . . . new reclamations of Shakespeare in Asian performance traditions, both traditional and contemporary." Although other scholars, notable among them Bi-Qi Beatrice Lei, hold that Shakespeare in the East has pushed Shakespeare into territory that is very different from older terrain marked by overtures to the West, Lin and Bharucha make clear that more politically and culturally relevant work needs to be done in "doing" Shakespeare in Asia. Taking them at their word, I do that in this essay by ecocritically reading a film adaptation of Macbeth, Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood, and a film adaptation of the classical Chinese legend of "the Butterfly lovers," directed by Taiwanese director Ming-chin Tsai and commonly known as the Chinese version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Ecocritic Robert Pogue Harrison's reading of "deforestation" in Macbeth is the main source of inspiration for my discussion of Kurosawa's film and the history of ecocide of East Asian forests by local governments and later by multi-national companies in the time between Japan's Middle Ages, the time period in which Kurosawa's Macbeth is set, and the present century. Tsai's film carries a haunting ecocidal reference, one that the director may not have consciously intended but is powerful no less, to the history of butterflies in Taiwan.
    Relation: Tamkang Review 47(2), p.33-47
    Appears in Collections:[英文學系暨研究所] 期刊論文

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