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Month: October 2016

Stephan Füssel, ed. Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, no. 91

Stephan Füssel, ed. Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, no. 91. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2016. 296p. ISBN: 9783447105453. € 85.00.

A notable feature of this volume is the number of English-language contributions. It would seem highly appropriate for a review in a periodical published in English to concentrate primarily on these.

The first article in English is an account of a museum of typography located in Crete, and run by Yiannis and Elene Garedakis. A unique institution of its type in Greece, it aims to foster research, gather information on various topics, showcase machinery, and organise exhibits on typography and printing.

Bart van Es. Shakespeare in Company.

Bart van Es. Shakespeare in Company. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. xiv, 370p., ill. ISBN 9780199569311. $45.95 (hardcover).

Bart van Es’s Shakespeare in Company is an ambitious study that innovatively combines literary analysis of Shakespeare’s plays over the span of his career with intricate theatrical history. Van Es maintains that Shakespeare’s “decision to become a stakeholder in the theatre industry transformed and would continue to affect the way that he wrote his plays” (3). 

Alan Rosen, ed. Literature of the Holocaust.

Alan Rosen, ed. Literature of the Holocaust. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. xii, 324 p. ISBN 9781107008656. £55 / US $85 (hardback).

Books such as Literature of the Holocaust can do two presumably very different things. They can either attempt to become encyclopedias to all that has been hitherto written about the Holocaust (which might be implied by a somewhat audacious, presumably-all-encompassing title) or reflect a lively debate without closure, presenting various, sometimes contradictory views on the subject. In a way, Literature of the Holocaust does both.

The book obviously fails – and it must fail – to present the “literature of the Holocaust” as a whole. This failure (a failure inevitably shared by analogous attempts, as argued by Alan Rosen in the chapter “Anthologizing the Holocaust”) is, however, subtly inscribed in the very structure of the book.

Shakespeare: Metamorphosis

Shakespeare: Metamorphosis

Senate House Library, University of London

4 April-17 September 2016

Shakespeare: Metamorphosis at the Senate House Library of the University of London provides visitors with an engaging view of the influences, texts, critics and reception of the playwright’s work over four centuries. As one of the several and elegantly designed printed resources for the exhibition explain: ‘‘The ‘Seven Ages of Man’ soliloquy from As You Like It, … explores the metamorphosis of Shakespearean text and scholarship’’ through the resources of the library. While the exhibition closed in mid-September, many aspects of the exhibition remain to be explored online.

Visions of Utopia

Visions of Utopia

The British Library, London

31 May–18 September 2016

Visions of Utopia celebrates the 500th anniversary of Sir Thomas More’s (1478–1535) work of fiction and political philosophy. In this small collection, viewers have the opportunity to press beyond a glimpse at the famous book to consider the genre this narrative about a fictive island inspired — the Utopian novel. Tucked into the Sir John Ritblat Treasures at the British Library, surrounded by some of the world’s most important works of literature, law, religion, and science, Visions of Utopia successfully captures what the exhibition describes as the book’s “timeless relevance.”

Mapping the Republic of Letters

An intellectual map of science in the Spanish Empire, 1600-1810. Source: http://republicofletters.stanford.edu/casestudies/spanishempire.html

Mapping the Republic of Letters. Stanford University: 2013. <http://republicofletters.stanford.edu/>

Mapping the Republic of Letters is a digital humanities program from Stanford University’s Humanities Center in collaboration with leading international partners. It sheds light on how historical scientific networks contributed to the spread of knowledge from the age of Erasmus to the time of Franklin. Through letters, sociability, and travel this ancient spider’s web was critical to communication and criticism of thought, circulation of people, and commerce of books in the modern era.