Taghrid Elhanafy: Towards Rhizo-culturalism

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Towards Rhizo-culturalism: Shakespeare`s Drama and Its Trans*textual Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Sources

Forms of anti-Muslim Racism in the West have intentionally or latently influenced William Shakespeare source study in the Western academia. This study, nevertheless, highlights that the European literary icon was directly or indirectly (hence the concept of Re*source) influenced by literary and cultural corpus from the Islamic East. The Trans*textual Islamic aesthetics, including the Sufi aesthetics of the feminine, in Shakespeare’s work have been received well for centuries by the Western audiences. This proves that all human cultures are in essence the same but are expressed in various ways; hence, my newly devised concept of Rhizo-culturalism. This study offers an in-depth trans*textual comparative reading of eight Islamic Eastern and European sources of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (ca.1595). A special focus is given to the Azari-Turkish Muhammed Fuzuli’s narrative poem Leyla ile Mecnun (ca. 1535) as a direct source of Arthur Brooke’s The Tragicall Historie of Romeus and Juliet (1562). The latter is believed by the Shakespeare source study’s consensus to be the direct source of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This study also offers a deep trans*texual reading of the book of Alf Layla Wa Layla and its influence on Othello (1603) and the induction scene in the Taming of the Shrew (ca. 1590). Furthermore, the study analyzes the representations of the Turk and Islam in eight of Shakespeare’s plays including Richard III (ca. 1592) and Henry IV (ca.1596).

ISBN 978-3-910594-16-6, Softcover, 17x24 cm (B5), 396 pages


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