A Thousand Acres: A Novel by Jane Smiley

By Jane Smiley

A winning Iowa farmer comes to a decision to divide his farm among his 3 daughters. while the youngest items, she is minimize out of his will. This units off a series of occasions that brings darkish truths to gentle and explodes long-suppressed feelings. An formidable reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear solid upon a regular American group within the past due 20th century, A Thousand Acres takes on issues of fact, justice, love, and delight, and divulges the gorgeous but treacherous topography of humanity.

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A certain warm, fear-averting confinement Introduction to the Third Edition xxxvii and enclosure within optimistic horizons’ (The Gay Science, p. 234). All this is to the point, although Nietzsche wilfully misconstrues Macbeth. This play is indeed a profound exploration of the daemonic, but its tragedy is the deep and recalcitrant conflict between the daemonic and the humane, between the Macbeths’ ‘black and deep desires’ and the ‘milk of human kindness’ (I. iv. 52, I. v. 16). 15 But Nietzsche’s view of the artist and philosopher as knowing too much, of seeing through, demystifying and maybe undermining the ideological, religious and cultural ‘fictions’ of society, and thereby ‘de-repressing’ subversive desires – all this is clearly relevant to the drama of the early modern period, whose own heroes, anti-heroes, lovers and malcontents are already doing something similar.

It was completed in 1982 and published in 1984. I asked London University if I could submit a copy of this book instead of the thesis. Committees met, and after some months I was told that yes, I could, but that its covers would have to be removed and somehow replaced with others of regulation size. This was to make it look more like a real thesis. I expressed unwillingness to do this: the book was at that time available only in hardback at an exorbitant price and I was loath to butcher even one copy.

As well as outlining work which is helping to transform our understanding of the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and the practice of English Studies, I shall try to exemplify the procedures and aims of a materialist criticism. 4 For the perspective I am outlining there is no question of simply describing some new readings of English drama in the narrow sense typical of conventional literary criticism. Here are three reasons why not. First, some of the most challenging work has originated in a wider context and often has not even been by those primarily identified as ‘Shakespeareans’ or critics of Renaissance drama.

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