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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: November ::
New on the SHAKSPER Fileserver: GEOGRPHY PERICLES
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2084  Tuesday, 14 November 2000.

From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Tuesday, November 14, 2000
Subject:        New on the SHAKSPER Fileserver: GEOGRPHY PERICLES

As of today, SHAKSPEReans may retrieve Monica Chesnoiu's essay "'Of
every nation a traveler': Geographical and Spatial Imagination in
Pericles" (GEOGRPHY PERICLES) from the SHAKSPER fileserver.  This paper
was originally presented in the "New and Old Approaches to Pericles"
Seminar at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of
America, San Francisco, 1999.

To retrieve "'Of every nation a traveler': Geographical and Spatial
Imagination in Pericles", send a one-line mail message (without a
subject line or quotation marks) to 
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"GET GEOGRPHY PERICLES".

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************************************************************************
Monica Chesnoiu
University "Ovidius" Constanta
Romania

'Of every nation a traveler': Geographical and Spatial Imagination in
Pericles

                                The knowledge of Geography is...the eye of History1

        Current theoretical work in the domain of cultural studies emphasizes
the need for a complex reorganization of temporal and spatial relations,
a reordering of space in accordance with the complex post-modern
constructions of human geographies, life practices, global values and
discourses.2  According to Clifford Geertz, 'the world is a various
place' 3 and by confronting its actuality and difference one can barely
hope to access a fragment of its complexity. Foucault's 'heterotopias' 4
-- heterogeneous spaces of sites and relations -- include, in a
convergence of socially created spatiality, the theatre and the garden,
the museum and the library, the brothel and the prison. This innovative
interpretation of space and time juxtaposes in a single real place
several socially produced spaces of imagination:
The brothel is in fact a place, and an architecture of pleasure... The
men of the city meet at the brothel; they were tied to one another by
the fact that the same women passed through their hands, that the same
diseases and infections were communicated to them. There was a sociality
of the brothel...5

 The Elizabethan theater seems to have been a similar space, a
marketplace of interlocking 'social energies'6, as in Pimlyco or Runne
Redcap:
        Amazed I stood to see a crowd
        Of Civill-Throats stretched out so loud
        As at a new-play all the Roomes
        Did swarme with Gentiles mix'd with Groomes
        So that I truly thought all these
        Came to see Shore or Pericles.7

        While socio-historical criticism of Shakespeare's romances in the
eighties and the nineties examined the representations of political
power in Jacobean England, particularly the king and his family,8  other
recent studies have centered on an interpretive geography of
Shakespeare's last plays.9  I will argue here that, contrary to late
sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century ideological constructions of
Eastern Mediterranean cultures as being liminal, the ambiguous topoi in
Pericles and the vague Hellenistic10 atmosphere are dramatized as part
of a common 'European' ancient and early modern world, a site of fluid
interference of archaic and Elizabethan practices intersecting within
the imaginary world of a far-traveled story.11  The brothel space
functions as an authentically shared social architecture of communal
cultural paradigms, an Eastern and Western concurrence of mutual habits
converging in the same omnipresent and multiply-rewritten narrative of
loss and recovery.
 

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