Shakespeare in China provides English language readers with a comprehensive sense of China's past and on-going encounter with Shakespeare. It offers a detailed history of twentieth-century Sino-Shakespeare from the beginnings to 1949, followed by more recent accounts of the playwright in the People's Republic, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The study pays particular attention to translation, criticism and theatrical productions and highlights Shakespeare's fate during the turbulent political times of modern China. Chapters on "Shakespeare and Confucius" and "The Paradox of Shakespeare in the New China" consider the playwright in the context of "old" and "new" Chinese ideologies, Bringing together hard to find materials in both English and Chinese, it builds upon and extends past research on its subject.
As a survey of Shakespeare in translation and performance in China during the last half of the 20th century, Levith s book serves as a worthy introduction. Shakespeare in China covers the important historical events since 1949 and their effects on circulation of western literary texts and ideas. It has some real value and serves as a model of genuine international scholarship and interdisciplinarity that will benefit scholars and teachers of Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Yearbook, October 2005--The Shakespeare Yearbook "There are fascinating takes: The Merchant of Venice as a play about economic reform; and Othello with Iago representing the talented and capable unable to get ahead under the new economic order. The chapter on "Shakespeare and Confucius" is illuminating." - South China Morning Post, January 2007 Mention -Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, Tome LXX-2008 Mention --Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, Tome LXX-2008 Mention Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, Tome LXX-2008 '...is short, easy to read and infailingly engaging...recommend that readers find Shakespeare in China in their libraries, or if their libraries don't have copies, urge them to acquire it.'--Sanford Lakoff "Us-China Review " "From their first encounters with Shakespeare early in the twentieth century, the Chinese have adapted Shakespeare to specific, although various, national needs. Whether they continue to use Shakespeare in this way, or at all, as they develop into a dominant world power remains an open question. Murray Levith's useful study, now available in paperback, enables us to probe this question from many different angles...Surveys of the kind that Levith offers are indispensable, given the State of scholarship in the field and the difficulties of access to materials, and he provides a valuable service in making a wealth of information available to international scholars...Inwardness, nationalism, Marxism-these seem to be the culprits for Levith. Identifying them helps to explain why the adaptations and appropriations of Hong Kong and Taiwan seem benign. Although a thorough discussion of these issues goes beyond his purposes, Levith does well to raise them: they are important for an understanding not only of Shakespeare's position in China but in the contemporary world community." - Edward Berry, University of Victoria, Modern Philology, November 2007--Sanford Lakoff