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1616: Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu's China

TAN Tian Yuan WANG Shih-pe Paul EDMONSON
Bloomsbury Academic
198 x 129mm
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The year is 1616. William Shakespeare has just died and the world of the London theatres is mourning his loss. 1616 also saw the death of the famous Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu. Four hundred years on and Shakespeare is now an important meeting place for Anglo-Chinese cultural dialogue in the field of drama studies. In June 2014 (the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth), SOAS, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the National Chung Cheng University of Taiwan gathered 20 scholars together to reflect on the theatrical practice of four hundred years ago and to ask: what does such an exploration mean culturally for us today? This ground-breaking study offers fresh insights into the respective theatrical worlds of Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu and asks how the brave new theatres of 1616 may have a vital role to play in the intercultural dialogue of our own time.
Tian Yuan Tan is Reader in Chinese Studies at SOAS, University of London, UK, and the Secretary-General of the European Association for Chinese Studies. Paul Edmondson is Head of Research at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Honorary Fellow of The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, UK. Shih-pe Wang is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan.
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the deaths of the Chinese playwright Tan Xianzu and the English playwright William Shakespeare. As the world celebrates the legacy of the two literary giants, this book, with a central point of reference ─ the year 1616, illustrates the contributions of these two playwrights in professional theatre and the art of playwriting. The year 1616 saw the deaths of both playwrights and was a significant year when Chinese and English theatre had developed vibrantly. Intriguing comparisons have been drawn between these two literary masters and the societies of their time in this book. It helps reader understand how these two legendary playwrights have had an enormous influence upon the theatrical worlds of the two countries and cultures even till today.