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Tempest in the Caribbean

2003
Author:

Jonathan Goldberg

Tempest in the Caribbean

Places sexuality at the center of Caribbean responses to Shakespeare’s play

This book reads some of the “classic” anticolonial texts—by Aimé Césaire and Roberto Fernández Retamar, for instance—through the lens of feminist and queer analysis. By placing gender and sexuality at the center of the debate about the uses of Shakespeare for anticolonial purposes, Goldberg’s work points to possibilities that might be articulated through the nexus of race and sexuality.

This is no politically correct critique of ‘humanism.’ Jonathan Goldberg demonstrates how many Caribbean writers seek to understand the failures of enlightenment.

Karen Newman, Brown University

Shakespeare’s The Tempest has long been claimed by colonials and postcolonial thinkers alike as the dramatic work that most enables them to confront their entangled history, recognized as early modernity’s most extensive engagement with the vexing issues of colonialism—race, dispossession, language, European displacement and occupation, disregard for native culture.

Tempest in the Caribbean reads some of the “classic” anticolonial texts—by Aimé Césaire, Roberto Fernández Retamar, George Lamming, and Frantz Fanon, for instance—through the lens of feminist and queer analysis exemplified by the theoretical essays of Sylvia Wynter and the work of Michelle Cliff. Extending the Tempest plot, Goldberg considers recent works by Caribbean authors and social theorists, among them Patricia Powell, Jamaica Kincaid, and Hilton Als. These rewritings, he suggests, and the lived conditions to which they testify, present alternatives to the masculinist and heterosexual bias of the legacy that has been derived from The Tempest.

By placing gender and sexuality at the center of the debate about the uses of Shakespeare for anticolonial purposes, Goldberg’s work points to new possibilities that might be articulated through the nexus of race and sexuality.


Tempest in the Caribbean

Jonathan Goldberg is Sir William Osler Professor of English Literature at The Johns Hopkins University. His previous books include Shakespeare’s Hand (Minnesota, 2003), Desiring Women Writing (1997), Sodometries (1992), and, as editor, Reclaiming Sodom (1994) and Queering the Renaissance (1994).

Tempest in the Caribbean

This is no politically correct critique of ‘humanism.’ Jonathan Goldberg demonstrates how many Caribbean writers seek to understand the failures of enlightenment.

Karen Newman, Brown University

Goldberg has made a major contribution to the postcolonial debate about The Tempest.

Rhonda Cobham-Sander, Amherst College

Goldberg is one of the most distinguished critics of English Renaissance literature and culture. His writings have transformed our understanding of the relations between literary creation and historical context, and brought a welcome theoretical rigor to the field.

New West Indian Guide

One of the most attractive features of Tempest in the Caribbean is its full engagement with the region’s writers. His [Goldberg’s] respect always illuminates the material he discusses. The formidable intelligence of Goldberg’s writing about The Tempest and about the issues surrounding the play ensures that Tempest in the Caribbean will be seen as a major contribution to Shakespeare studies as well as to Caribbean studies. Even a relatively lengthy review cannot do justice to Goldberg’s consistent subtlety and insight.

Shakespeare Studies

Tempest in the Caribbean

CONTENTS

Preface

Acknowledgments

A Different Kind of Creature
Caliban’s“Woman”
Miranda’s Meanings

Notes

Index