alternately between Madrid and London from 1871. In his history of the First Folio, Anthony James West devotes over three pages of detail to it, because ‘it keeps resurfacing, surrounded by uncertainties’. These he summarizes as follows: … the Gondomar Folio
Lost, Stolen or Invented?
Reflective Remarks in Three Snapshots
This article reflects critically on Shakespeare’s presence in the Egyptian cultural and national imaginaries between the country’s celebration of two Shakespeare quadricentennials. The 400th anniversary of his birth in 1964 coincided with the euphoric reimagining of Egypt as a decolonizing nationalist utopia, and also with the launch of the highly emblematic al-Masraḥ magazine; that of the Bard’s death in 2016 has occurred as the exhausted ‘post-revolutionary’ nation navigates a welter of blind spots and uncertainties on all levels. Culled from the wider public sphere, mainstream stage practice and my classroom experiences as an instructor of drama and theatre in contemporary Egypt, the article’s three snapshots exhibit compelling evidence of cultural hegemony, entrenched gerontocracy and both the subtle and not so subtle continuing subjugation of feminized voices.
Contemporary fiction has to address all manner of uncertainties. Those brought about by scientific developments and related social changes are possibly most acute in novels which experiment with the new science of cloning and reproductive technologies. Here there is often an explicit exploration of what it means to be human. As Eva Sabine Zehelein’s article shows, the capability of science to replace sexual reproduction is explored as a potentially liberating idea by the scientist-author, Carl Djerassi. His novel provides a means of educating the reader about science as well as providing a testing-ground for the ethical issues which face today’s scientists. Notably it is the long-term effects of scientific inventions in reproductive technologies which require hard thinking today. While these concerns will be considered by scientists and legislators, they are certainly being tested in the relative freedom of the novel. Thus Eva Hoffmann’s The Secret demonstrates that, to some extent, it is the clone who exposes what is taken for granted as human. Susan Stuart illustrates here the critical perspective offered by this novel. Whatever scientific interventions and biological crafting are involved in the creation of new life, the complexity of the decisions and actions of the life created provides a rich source of narrative exploration, especially in the bildungsroman form.
Margery Allingham's Gender Agenda
Mr Campion’s somewhat intemperate outburst erupts into the midst of Margery Allingham’s 1938 novel, The Fashion in Shrouds, causing serious damage to the detective’s veneer of gentility. Yet these words, disturbing as they are, are merely the tip of a complex gender iceberg – a paradoxical mass of attitudes and opinions that are all the more difficult to read for their being seven-eighths submerged beneath the familiar surface text of classical crime fiction. The underlying misogyny of the detective, Albert Campion, inevitably raises questions about his creator. What were Allingham’s opinions regarding the role of women in inter-war society? What was her ‘gender agenda’? As the above quotation suggests, the answers are far from clear. Is the reader expected to sympathise with Campion’s bizarre collection of gender assumptions – or is Allingham, to borrow a phrase from Alison Light, ‘making fun of heroes’? Allingham’s output during the 1930s varied enormously in tone and style, making it difficult to place both writer and detective within the parameters of gender and genre, but some insight into these evasive fictions can be gained through a comparison with her later work – specifically the wartime novel, Traitor’s Purse (1941). The outbreak of war in 1939 effects a change on both Allingham’s narrative and her gender agenda, manifested as a shift in perspective from the ‘problem’ of femininity to a crisis of masculinity, and this transition suggests that the disruption of war facilitated the articulation of a range of doubts and uncertainties that could not find expression in her fiction of the 1930s.
‘Trouthe thee shall deliver…’ —Truth: Balade de Bon Conseyl We are living at a time of what seems like unprecedented social, political, moral, epistemological and environmental uncertainty. It seems we are moving into – or are already in – what some
The Complexity of Complaint in Chaucer’s Anelida and Arcite and Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid
context of the dubious conveyance of truth in literary form. It is a Russian doll effect that Henryson presents at key moments in the narrative, as he embeds uncertainty within uncertainty, and sometimes lies within lies. The question of truth pervades the
in common with modernism, indeed with our own uncertainties, than with the confidence of the nineteenth century when so much spadework was done in recovering and re-examining many of the materials we value. The medievals shared our itchy unease about
regarding the dramatists of the period whose art, he says, ‘thrive[d] on paradox and uncertainty’. He adds that Shakespeare and his fellow dramatists, ‘[r]ather than being simply ignorant or hostile to the Muslim world as many critics have previously assumed
Creative Critical Shakespeares
Rob Conkie and Scott Maisano
relented and the seminar papers responding to the call above perhaps both confirmed and dispelled the Trustees’ initial uncertainty. Some contributors wrote fine critical articles about creative responses to Shakespeare (they are not included here). Some
’, construing knowing as a matter of situating oneself. What Loewenstein describes as Spenser’s ‘uncertainties about the very object of gaze, the configuration of competing surfaces, the locus of gleaming value’, thus supply both a problem and a solution. 13