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In the aftermath of New Historicism and Cultural Materialism, the field of Shakespeare Studies has been increasingly overrun by post-theoretical, phenomenological claims. Many of the critical tendencies that hold the field today—post-humanism, speculative realism, ecocriticism, historical phenomenology, new materialism, performance studies, animal studies, affect studies—are consciously or unwittingly informed by phenomenological assumptions. This book aims at uncovering and examining these claims, not only to assess their philosophical congruency but also to determine their hermeneutic relevance when applied to Shakespeare. More specifically, Unphenomenal Shakespeare deploys resources of speculative critique to resist the moralistic and aestheticist phenomenalization of the Shakespeare playtexts across a variety of schools and scholars, a tendency best epitomized in Bruce Smith’s Phenomenal Shakespeare (2010).
This study explores the representation of disability in three of the most well-known novels of the twentieth century, D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928), Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926), and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury (1929). By signifying cultural demise and a loss of masculinity, white male disability in the literature of the 1920s represents a fear of a foundering patriarchal, white supremacist world order. However, if we take seriously what queer and disability studies have advanced, disabled bodies in literature can also help us redefine life and love in the modern era: forcing us to imagine possibilities outside of our comfort zones, they help us reimagine the elusive myth of independent, self-sufficient human existence.