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23 April 1992
Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault 
by Jonathan Dollimore.
Oxford, 388 pp., £35, August 1991, 0 19 811225 4
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Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories 
by Diana Fuss.
Routledge, 432 pp., £40, March 1992, 0 415 90236 3
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... never ‘write “I” any more,’ for ‘in art, don’t you see, there is no first person.’ Jonathan Dollimore sees in the conflict between Gide’s courageous ‘essentialist ethic’ and Wilde’s uncompromising ‘transgressive aesthetic’ a paradigm of the internal contradictions of homosexual theory and a preamble to ‘the modern history of ...

Diary

Jonathan Dollimore: Depression Studies

23 August 2001
... On my way to kill myself one hot day in July 1991, I stopped to fill up with the petrol necessary to see the job through. An old woman with heavy shopping bags was trying to cross the road. She was staggering and in danger of being run down. I offered help. She asked me to call a taxi to take her home. There was no phone so I offered to take her myself ...

Vehicles of Dissatisfaction

Jonathan Dollimore: Men and Motors

24 July 2003
Autopia: Cars and Culture 
edited by Peter Wollen and Joe Kerr.
Reaktion, 400 pp., £25, November 2002, 1 86189 132 6
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... Gridlock is a great leveller. It immobilises the fastest roadster as surely as the slowest truck. It reminds us that the car is an indispensable part of what we are, but also a threat to us. Without it we couldn’t live at the pace we do; with it we’re grinding to a halt. Once the symbol and instrument of progress, now it drives us to gridlock and road rage ...

Toe-Lining

Frank Kermode

22 January 1998
Shakespeare’s Troy: Drama, Politics and the Translation of Empire 
by Heather James.
Cambridge, 283 pp., £37.50, December 1997, 0 521 59223 2
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... curiosities as Renaissance cross-dressing and the like. Among his colleagues on the board are Jonathan Goldberg, author, among other adventurous works, of Sodometrics: Renaissance Texts, Modern Sexualities, Marjorie Garber, a celebrated, good-humoured and energetic advocate of bisexuality, and ...

Good dinners pass away, so do tyrants and toothache

Terry Eagleton: Death, Desire and so forth

16 April 1998
Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture 
by Jonathan Dollimore.
Allen Lane, 380 pp., £25, April 1998, 0 7139 9125 9
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... but rarely glance sideways at the historical context of their own attraction to desire. Jonathan Dollimore’s Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture manages to pack no less than three resonant negations into its title, an emphasis on depletion at odds with the ambitiousness of his project. In a remarkably wide-ranging survey from ...

Re-Readings

Chris Baldick

10 November 1988
Poetry, Language and Politics 
by John Barrell.
Manchester, 174 pp., £21.50, May 1988, 0 7190 2441 2
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Garden – Nature – Language 
by Simon Pugh.
Manchester, 148 pp., £25, May 1988, 0 7190 2824 8
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Writing Ireland: Colonialism, Nationalism and Culture 
by David Cairns and Shaun Richards.
Manchester, 178 pp., £21.50, May 1988, 0 7190 2371 8
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The Shakespeare Myth 
edited by Graham Holderness.
Manchester, 215 pp., £25, May 1988, 0 7190 1488 3
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... or sample demonstrations of theoretical routines cried up as novelties. The series edited by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield under the title ‘Cultural Polities’ has some twenty volumes in store already, covering popular fiction and music as well as canonical literature. Of these, the first four published titles present a mixed impression in ...

Outside Swan and Edgar’s

Matthew Sweet: The life of Oscar Wilde

5 February 1998
The Wilde Album 
by Merlin Holland.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 1 85702 782 5
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Cosmopolitan Criticism: Oscar Wilde’s Philosophy of Art 
by Julia Prewitt Brown.
Virginia, 157 pp., $30, September 1997, 9780813917283
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The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde 
edited by Peter Raby.
Cambridge, 307 pp., £37.50, October 1997, 9780521474719
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Wilde The Novel 
by Stefan Rudnicki.
Orion, 215 pp., £5.99, October 1997, 0 7528 1160 6
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Oscar Wilde 
by Frank Harris.
Robinson, 358 pp., £7.99, October 1997, 1 85487 126 9
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Moab is my Washpot 
by Stephen Fry.
Hutchinson, 343 pp., £16.99, October 1997, 0 09 180161 3
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Nothing … except My Genius 
by Oscar Wilde.
Penguin, 82 pp., £2.99, October 1997, 0 14 043693 6
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... post-dualist tradition of aesthetic theory – a missing link between Kierkegaard and Adorno. For Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield, he’s the original Queer wit, who would today have been the toast of Sussex University and Old Compton Street. Oscar Wilde, posing as a Post-Modernist. Like the most obliging of renters, Wilde will be anything you want ...

Undecidability

Alastair Fowler

2 March 1989
Shakespeare’s Scepticism 
by Graham Bradshaw.
Harvester, 269 pp., £32.50, June 1987, 0 7108 0604 3
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The Elizabethan Hamlet 
by Arthur McGee.
Yale, 211 pp., £14.95, November 1987, 0 300 03988 3
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... side or another of the quarrel – such as Bradshaw variously detects in both E M W. Tillyard and Jonathan Dollimore. ‘The “Tragedy” is located in that radically sceptical perspectivism, and the play’s thinking about man and Nature is irreducibly experiential, a process we live through.’ It is an attractive approach: yet not all will like the ...

Shakespeares

David Norbrook

18 July 1985
Political Shakespeare: New Essays in Cultural Materialism 
edited by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield.
Manchester, 244 pp., £19.50, April 1985, 0 7190 1752 1
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Alternative Shakespeares 
edited by John Drakakis.
Methuen, 252 pp., £10.50, July 1985, 0 416 36850 6
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Shakespeare and Others 
by S. Schoenbaum.
Scolar, 285 pp., £25, May 1985, 0 85967 691 9
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Illustrations of the English Stage 1580-1642 
by R.A. Foakes.
Scolar, 180 pp., £35, February 1985, 0 85967 684 6
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Shakespeare: The ‘Lost Years’ 
by E.A.J. Honigmann.
Manchester, 172 pp., £17.50, April 1985, 0 7190 1743 2
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... are much more suspicious of ‘high culture’. In his introduction to Political Shakespeare, Jonathan Dollimore analyses a tripartite pattern in ideological conflicts of consolidation, subversion and containment. In certain circumstances, drama may subvert the ruling ideology, but the probability is that these challenges will eventually serve to ...
19 August 1993
Shakespeare and Ovid 
by Jonathan Bate.
Oxford, 292 pp., £35, May 1993, 0 19 812954 8
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... story but that scarcely renders it safe, for Venus is the active party, Adonis the pursued. As Jonathan Bate says, the poem is partly about a woman who wishes to rape a man and is frustrated by physiological difference. The magisterial Jonson, in his play Poetaster, drew the moral conclusion: if that is what Ovid is really like, then Ovid must go, and ...
5 January 1989
Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England 
by Stephen Greenblatt.
Oxford, 205 pp., £22.50, April 1988, 0 19 812980 7
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Representing the English Renaissance 
edited by Stephen Greenblatt.
California, 372 pp., $42, February 1988, 0 520 06129 2
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... studies in the politics of literature by British literary historians such as David Norbrook and Jonathan Dollimore. These essays, which originated as lectures, are certainly dazzling performances. To historians like myself, what is most impressive about them is not the attention to historical context, which we have been trained to expect, but the ...

Point of Wonder

A.D. Nuttall

5 December 1991
Marvellous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World 
by Stephen Greenblatt.
Oxford, 202 pp., £22.50, September 1991, 0 19 812382 5
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... echo of this imperfectly acknowledged transformation in the more avowedly Marxist work of Jonathan Dollimore. In his absorbing book Radical Tragedy Dollimore made free use of the term ‘essentialism’, meaning the ascription of a permanent, necessary form to reality. He wrote, in a way which still seems ...

Bardbiz

Terence Hawkes

22 February 1990
Rebuilding Shakespeare’s Globe 
by Andrew Gurr and John Orrell.
Weidenfeld, 197 pp., £15.95, April 1989, 0 297 79346 2
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Shakespeare and the Popular Voice 
by Annabel Patterson.
Blackwell, 195 pp., £27.50, November 1989, 0 631 16873 7
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Re-Inventing Shakespeare: A Cultural History from the Restoration to the Present 
by Gary Taylor.
Hogarth, 461 pp., £18, January 1990, 0 7012 0888 0
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Shakespeare’s America, America’s Shakespeare 
by Michael Bristol.
Routledge, 237 pp., £30, January 1990, 0 415 01538 3
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... and, in the playwright’s name, deploy a considered programme of anti-Jacobin propaganda. As Jonathan Bate has pointed out in an incisive study of the cultural politics of the period,* Hazlitt stands as the Radical to Coleridge’s Conservative in terms of a struggle for possession of Shakespeare that was a feature of British ideology between Waterloo ...
10 July 2003
... involve Shakespeare’s writing in the politics of his time. Contemporary critics, Greenblatt and Jonathan Dollimore at their head, draw bold inferences from it. In widely influential works they describe the performance at the Globe as a ‘famous attempt to use the theatre to subvert authority’; as a move ‘to wrest legitimation from the established ...
13 September 2018
Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness 
by Rhodri Lewis.
Princeton, 365 pp., £30, November 2017, 978 0 691 16684 1
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... blips in an otherwise divinely sanctioned hierarchical order is one that was fading even before Jonathan Dollimore published Radical Tragedy (1984), one of few major relevant studies absent from Lewis’s bibliography. But Lewis is at full erudite cry as he pursues the traces of hunting imagery through every level of the play’s text. Even the ...

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