Dirk Gindt, Tennessee Williams in Sweden and France, 1945-1965. Cultural Translations, Sexual Anxieties and Racial Fantasies, London and New York: Methuen

  • Alessandro Clericuzio Università di Perugia


Building on Peter Burke’s and Homi Bhabha’s concept of cultural translation as a process in which readers in one social, aesthetic and historical environment negotiate the meaning of a particular text that originates in a different context, Dirk Gindt has investigated the migration process of five plays by America’s foremost playwright, Tennessee Williams, towards France and Sweden between 1945 and 1965. The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending and Suddenly Last Summer were directed and acted, with rare exception, with blatantly sexualized and racialized characters and settings. This, in turn, provided critics with ammunition to incite public scandal and outrage or dismiss the plays as products of a nation with an immature theatrical culture. The book delves into myriads of reviews and other elements connected with the transcultural passage of these works to offer an interdisciplinary study of the negotiations involved in the process, with a keen eye for such meaningful issues as sexuality, race, gender and nation.

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