Alexander C. Y. Huang and Charles S. Ross s unusual collection of essays, Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia, and Cyberspace, might seem at first glance to be rather less than the sum of its apparently disparate parts. But it is about much more than three different institutions, locations, or media in which Shakespeare has been appropriated and culturally translated. Indeed, as Richard Burt notes in his contribution, it gestures toward a more complicated theorization of Shakespeare s transnational circulation than the unidirectional model of cultural exchange or appropriation favored in postcolonial criticism (p. 231). Instead the volume asks us to think about how Asian audio-visual idioms as much as Shakespeare s texts have been translated in both directions (p. 1). The best essays offer comparative analyses that illuminate this bidirectionality: Mei Zhu examines the influence of Hollywood screwball comedy on both Shakespearean film (specifically Franco Zeffirelli s Taming of the Shrew) and Chinese cinema; Ross considers the transnational circulation of the figure of the underwater woman in Chinese film and Hollywood adaptations of Shakespeare; and Lucian Ghita shows how Julie Taymor s film Titus draws both on Asian theater practices from Japanese bunraku to Indonesian topeng (or masked drama) and on video game representations of body parts. The volume breaks new ground by thinking about how, in the age of transnational capital and the worldwide web, Shakespeare and Asia are globally screened a more suggestive term, given the verb s double visual and obstructive sense, than the customary appropriation.ReviewStudies in English LiteratureSpring 2011, 73 pp. 492
Alexander C.Y. Huang teaches comparative literature at The Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of "Chinese Shakespeares: Two Centuries of Cultural Exchange" (2009), and co-editor of "Class, Boundary, and Social Discourse in the Renaissance" (2007) and "Shakespeare Performance in Asia," an open-access digital video archive (http: //web.mit.edu/shakespeare/asia/). Charles S. Ross teaches comparative literature at Purdue University. He has translated Boiardo's "Orlando Innamorato" (1989) and Statius's "Thebaid" (2004) and is the author of "Elizabethan Literature and the Law of Fraudulent Conveyance: Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare" (2003) and "The Custom of the Castle from Malory to Macbeth" (1997).