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Journal of English Philology

Ed. by Kornexl, Lucia / Lenker, Ursula / Middeke, Martin / Rippl, Gabriele / Stein, Daniel Thomas

CiteScore 2018: 0.22

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.130
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.336

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Volume 131, Issue 1


Shakespeare’s Post-Colonial Legacy: The Case of Othello

Maria Löschnigg
Published Online: 2013-04-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/anglia-2013-0002


Post-colonial rewritings of European classics have been categorized either as texts which perpetuate colonial structures, or as ‘canonical counterdiscourses’, which stand in clear opposition to the source text. Appropriations of Shakespeare, in particular, have been the target of such polarized readings, which all seem to be based on the assumption that literary texts are fixed discourses. In my essay I shall try to counter the narrow post-colonial conceptualisation of the counter-discourse by taking a closer look at Othello-rewritings, with a special focus on African Murray Carlin’s play Not Now, Sweet Desdemona. As will be illustrated, Carlin’s text, just like so many other Shakespeare rewritings, draws on the ambiguities inherent in the pre-text, in order to engage in a dialogue with the Renaissance tragedy and activate its relevancies for modern post-colonial societies in a global context. The article thus proposes a new approach to Shakespeare rewritings, one that considers the pretexts’ polyvalence and one that exchanges notions of counter-discursivity with notions of textual and cultural reciprocity.

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Published Online: 2013-04-17

Published in Print: 2013-04-01

Citation Information: Anglia, Volume 131, Issue 1, Pages 17–34, ISSN (Online) 1865-8938, ISSN (Print) 0340-5222, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/anglia-2013-0002.

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