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Culture as Creative Refusal

David Graeber

Many aspects of culture that we are used to interpreting in essentialist or even tacitly evolutionist terms might better be seen as acts of self-conscious rejection, or as formed through a schizmogenetic process of mutual definition against the values of neighbouring societies. What have been called 'heroic societies', for instance, seem to have formed in conscious rejection of the values of urban civilizations of the Bronze Age. A consideration of the origins and early history of the Malagasy suggests a conscious rejection of the world of the Islamic ecumene of the Indian Ocean, effecting a social order that could justifiably be described as self-consciously anti-heroic.

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‘Shakespeare Had the Passion of an Arab’

The Appropriation of Shakespeare in Fadia Faqir’s Willow Trees Don’t Weep

Hussein A. Alhawamdeh

’s Othello , Desdemona is consecrated as an obedient Christian wife, who submits completely to the authority of her husband. T.G.A. Nelson and Charles Haines describe Venetian society as an ‘ideal, heroic society where justice and loyalty prevail; where women