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Dylan Kelby Rogers

Water played an important part of ancient Roman life, from providing necessary drinking water, supplying bath complexes, to flowing in large-scale public fountains. The Roman culture of water was seen throughout the Roman Empire, although it was certainly not monolithic and it could come in a variety of scales and forms, based on climatic and social conditions of different areas. This article seeks to define ‘water culture’ in Roman society by examining literary, epigraphic, and archaeological evidence, while understanding modern trends in scholarship related to the study of Roman water. The culture of water can be demonstrated through expressions of power, aesthetics, and spectacle. Further there was a shared experience of water in the empire that could be expressed through religion, landscape, and water’s role in cultures of consumption and pleasure.

Spectacle, Rhetoric and Power

The Triumphal Entry of Prince Philip of Spain into Antwerp

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Stijn Bussels

In 1549, Prince Philip of Spain made his entry into Antwerp together with his father, Emperor Charles V. For this occasion the rich city of commerce was transformed into a large theatrical space with triumphal arches and tableaux vivants as stage settings. The citizens and the princes acted as actors in a splendid parade, a battle array of four thousand participants, impressive tournaments and a huge firework display. This resulted in one of the most expensive and impressive festivities of the early modern period. The organizing municipality drew on various theatrical genres in an effort to bring about a renewal in the existing power relations between the Habsburg rulers and themselves, as well as the relations of the rulers with the population. Exactly how the city and the monarch were depicted was illustrative of the precious balance of power between the Habsburgs and the city fathers and of both parties toward their respective subjects. How these power relations were precisely staged in Antwerp is studied in this book.

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Malcolm Charles Pollard

It is easy simply to attribute the high profile of Sollers, the numerous autobiographical details in his novels, and also the espousal of so many different views and causes, to egocentrism and opportunism. Alternatively, one could say that they are all significant elements in an ongoing enquiry into the role of fiction in a society where attitudes are often thought to be determined more by images than by the written word. Given Sollers's questioning of society's conventional images (as in Debord's notion of the 'spectacle'), his awareness of his own role in the media, and his interest in developing a discourse on the visual arts, how do such concerns come together to create new forms of fiction and a coherent aesthetics? These seemingly disparate questions are all in fact related to Sollers's desire to challenge the accepted parameters of representation by creating an alternative scene in the novel, a subject which forms the basis of this book.

In Words and Deeds

The Spectacle of Incest in English Renaissance Tragedy

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Zenón Luis-Martínez

Departing from earlier studies which regarded incest as a literary topos or dramatic metaphor foregrounding political, social, or legal issues, Words and Deeds: The Spectacle of Incest in English Renaissance Tragedy argues that the presence of incest on the Renaissance stage is a strategy for the enactment of the spectator’s tragic experience. Incest is explored neither as a sin nor as a crime, but as an “unspeakable” experience filtered through dramatic words and deeds. The incitement of desire, visual pleasure, and unconscious fantasy, as well as traumatic rejection, pain, and horror, are all aspects of this paradoxical and uncanny experience. Aristotelian theory of tragedy, Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Michel Foucault’s notions of the deployment of sexuality and alliance, concur in the analysis of plays where incest is a central or a secondary motif – Ford’s ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Beaumont and Fletcher’s Cupid’s Revenge, Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi – and others where incest is an effect of language and mise-en-scène – Sackville and Norton’s Gorboduc, Shakespeare’s King Lear. The variety of topics and the combination of critical perspectives makes In Words and Deeds an attractive book for students and teachers of Renaissance drama, as well as for those with a special interest in psychoanalytic and other new theoretical approaches to the literary text.

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Patrick Besnier and Pierre Bazantay

Le Petit dictionnaire de Locus Solus présente une série de commentaires au roman de Raymond Roussel, paru en 1914. Conçu comme un outil de lecture, il est destiné à faciliter l'accès à cette oeuvre majeure. Les notices, présentées avec références paginales aux éditions courantes et insérées dans leur contexte immédiat, ont de multiples fonctions: expliquer un terme rare, élucider une référence culturelle, illustrer les jeux narratifs d'un auteur féru de rébus, signaler un emprunt, une source ou un phénomène d'intertextualité possibles. Introduction et approche renouvelée du texte roussellien, le Petit dictionnaire de Locus Solus vise à mettre en évidence la complexité d'un univers romanesque écho et prisme de la culture littéraire française, du XIXème siècle en particulier. Rappelant le rôle qu'y jouent feuilletons, réclames, pièces du boulevard, opéras, etc. le Petit Dictionnaire de Locus Solus tente de pénétrer les coulisses de cette oeuvre, véritable spectacle du signe dirigé par Roussel. C'est aussi une recherche sur la façon dont Roussel, au delà même du procédé d'écriture qu'il invente et exploite dans son livre, recompose, au seuil de la modernité, un imaginaire dans lequel s'est reconnue la quasi-totalité des écrivains du XXème siècle.

The Komedie Stamboel

Popular Theater in Colonial Indonesia

Matthew I. Cohen

'Come, see, and judge for yourself!' Originating in 1891 in the port city of Surabaya, the Komedie Stamboel, or Istanbul-style theater, toured colonial Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia by rail and steamship, performing musical versions of the Arabian Nights, European fairy tales and operas such as Sleeping Beauty and Aïda, Indian and Persian romances, Southeast Asian chronicles, true crime stories, and political allegories. It was the region's first cross-ethnic theater: actors were primarily Eurasians, the original backers were Chinese, and audiences were made up of all races and classes. Spectacle, stirring music, and comedy appealed to the masses, but the theater also sparked public outrage, with racial frictions between actors and finaciers, sex scandels, fights among actors and patrons, bankruptcies, imprisonments, and a murder.
Matthew Isaac Cohen's evocative social history situates the Komedie Stamboel in the culture of empire and translocal flows of itinerant entertainment. He shows how the theater was used as a symbol of cross-ethnic integration in postcolonial Indonesia and as an emblem of Eurasian cultural accomplishment by Indische Nederlanders. A pioneering study of nineteenth-century Southeast Asian popular culture, The Komedie Stamboel: Popular Theater in Colonial Indonesia, 1891-1903 gives a new picture of the region's arts and entertainment through an exploration of the interplay of global culture, theatrical innovation, and the movement of people and ideas in colonial Southeast Asia.

Macbeth Multiplied

Negotiating Historical and Medial Difference Between Shakespeare and Verdi

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Christoph Clausen

In what sense did Shakespeare’s representation of the Weird Sisters participate in the rewriting of village witchcraft? Was it likely to “encourage the Sword”? Did opera’s specific medial conditions offer Verdi special opportunities to justify the presence of stage witches more than three centuries later? How valid is the parallel between 19th century opera and the voyeurism of madhouse spectacle? Was Shakespeare’s play really engaged in the project of exorcizing Queen Elizabeth’s cultural memory? What does Verdi’s chorus of Scottish refugees have to do with shifting representations of ‘the people’?
These are among the questions tackled in this study. It provides the first in-depth comparison of Shakespeare’s and Verdi’s Macbeth that is written expressly from the perspective of current Shakespearean criticism whilst striving to do justice to the topic’s musicological dimension at the same time. Exploring to what extent the play’s matrix of possible readings is distinct from Verdi’s two operatic versions, the book seeks to relate such differences both to the historical contexts of the works’ geneses and to their respective medial conditions. In doing so, it pays particular attention to shifting negotiations of witchcraft, gender, madness, and kingship. The study eventually broadens its discussion to consider other Shakespearean plays and their operatic offshoots, reflecting on some possible relations between historical and medial difference.

The Postmodern Chronotope

Reading Space and Time in Contemporary Fiction

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Paul Smethurst

The Postmodern Chronotope is an innovative interdisciplinary study of the contemporary. It will be of special interest to anyone interested in relations between postmodernism, geography and contemporary fiction. Some claim that postmodernism questions history and historical bases to culture; some say it is about loss of affect, loss of depth models, and superficiality; others claim it follows from the conditions of post-industrial society; and others cite commodification of place, Disneyfication, simulation and post-tourist spectacle as evidence that postmodernism is wedded to late capitalism. Whatever postmodernism is, or turns out to have been, it is bound up in rethinking and reworking space and time, and Paul Smethurst’s intervention here is to introduce the postmodern chronotope as a term through which these spatial and temporal shifts might be apprehended. The postmodern chronotope constitutes a postmodern world-view and postmodern way of seeing. In a sense it is the natural successor to a modernist way of seeing defined through cubism, montage and relativity. The book is arranged as follows: • Part 1 is an interdisciplinary study casting a wide net across a range of cultural, social and scientific activity, from chaos theory to cinema, from architecture to performance art, from IT to tourism. • Part 2 offers original readings of a selection of postmodern novels, including Graham Swift’s Waterland and Out of this World, Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor and First Light, Alasdair Gray’s Lanark, J. M. Coetzee’s Foe, Marina Warner’s Indigo, Caryl Phillips’ Cambridge, and Don DeLillo’s The Names and Ratner’s Star.