|演題：||« Italy vs. Africa. Topographies of desire in Othello, Antony and Cleopatra and The Tempest »|
Francois LAROQUE is Professor of Renaissance literature and drama at the University of Paris (Sorbonne Nouvelle). He is the author of Shakespeare’s Festive World, Cambridge, CUP, 1991, and of Court, Crowd and Playhouse, London, Thames and Hudson, 1995, both translated into Japanese. He first came to Japan in August 1991 to give a paper at the World Shakespeare Association Conference, which was subsequently published in the proceedings, Shakespeare and Cultural Traditions, edited by Tetsuo Kishi, Roger Pringle and Stanley Wells. He has also edited more than ten books on various aspects of the early modern period in England, an Anthology and a History of English Literature (in collaboration) at Presses Universitaires de France, and has written a great number of articles on Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. He has edited and translated Dr Faustus, The Jew of Malta, Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice and is currently working on a new translation and edition of The Tempest. His last contribution is a two-volume anthology of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama ranging from the anonymous Everyman to Shirley's The Cardinal (31 plays in all, newly translated and edited) to be published at the end of 2009 by editions Gallimard (for collection de la Pleiade).
This paper calls attention to the ambivalent divide which Shakespeare constructs in his dramas of desire and empire, where territory, maps and place names become intermingled in a nest of stories where the exotic other, racial difference and antipodean cultures are made to clash or merge, in order to represent the paradox of desire, its power as well as its shame in the tensions it arouses with the duties or landmarks of a character’s original cultural background. The encounter between “an erring barbarian and a super-subtle Venetian” (Othello, I.3.348-49), the overcoming of ‘Mars’ by a ‘gypsy’s lust’ (Antony and Cleopatra, I.1.4-10) and the marriage of an Italian princess to an African (The Tempest, II.1.122-23), all predicate desire on tropes of otherness by associating it with various geographical sites where Italy –be it Venice, Rome, Milan or Naples—is opposed to as well as paired with Africa. Beyond intertextual resonances, such ‘geography of difference’ (John Gillies) works towards an exploration of the contrarieties of desire and serves to promote an anthropological approach to gender and sexuality.