Shakespeare Our Contemporary: a catchy title. The first time I heard it was in an undergraduate Shakespeare class at the University of Massachusetts, taught by. Notable works, Shakespeare, Our Contemporary. Notable awards, Herder Prize ( ). Jan Kott (October 27, – December 23, ) was a Polish political activist, critic and. For those unfamiliar with the name, Kott (–) was a Polish professor whose book Shakespeare Our Contemporary, published in.

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Project MUSE – Jan Kott, Shakespeare Our Contemporary

Only after the Stalin era came to an end, did he become its ardent critic March And Goold’s Merchant of Venicewhich the RSC has criminally allowed to disappear from the repertoire after it closed last year, took us into a Las Vegas-style world of casinos and gameshows that I suspect Kott would have appreciated.

Even in Filter’s madcap contmporary of The Dream, currently at London’s Lyric HammersmithTheseus’s reference to conquering Hippolyta with his “sword” acquires a Kottian phallic association.

This page was last edited on 4 Decemberat This autobiographical accent became a hallmark of his criticism. By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that Skimlinks cookies will be set. The first time I heard it was in an undergraduate Shakespeare class at the University of Massachusetts, taught by the distinguished scholar of nineteenth century British theatre, Joseph W.

Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. Retrieved 26 December As a result, he was stripped of his professorship at Warsaw University. Order by newest oldest ckntemporary. A leading proponent of Stalinism in Poland for nearly a decade after jab Soviet takeover, Kott jann his Communist Party membership in following the anti-Stalinist Polish October of The links are powered by Skimlinks.


Readers all over the world–Shakespeare Our Contemporary has been translated into nineteen languages since it appeared in have similarly found their responses to Shakespeare broadened and enriched. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by contempirary advertiser or commercial initiative.

Selected pages Title Page. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Reportedly, Peter Brook ‘s film King Lear and Roman Polanski ‘s Macbeth both made in were influenced by Kott’s view of Shakespearean high tragedy in relation to the 20th-century “nightmare of history”.

Contemprary from ” https: Cntemporary book is one of the most important ever written about Shakespeare. Historian Teresa Wilniewczyc noted, that his zeal for totalitarian control over the world of Polish culture was “far more than was required”.

A poet, translator, and literary critic, he became one of the more prolific essayists of the Polish school in America. Jan Kott October 27, — December 23, was a Polish political activist, critic and theoretician of the theatre. Anyone who doubts Kott’s continuing relevance should first read his essay on Coriolanus and then go and see Ralph Fiennes’s viscerally exciting new film.

K is for Jan Kott

He renounced his membership of the communist party in For those unfamiliar with the name, Kott — was a Polish professor whose book Shakespeare Our Contemporarypublished in English inhad a profound impact on theatre. Michael Kustow’s obituary for the Guardian. His celebrated Macbeth, with Patrick Stewart in the leadwas not only stuffed with filmic references but possessed the edge-of-the-seat-quality we associate with a vintage horror movie.

Born in Warsaw in to a Jewish family, Kott was baptized into the Catholic Church at the age of five. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Don’t we now accept as a matter of course Kott’s arguments that A Midsummer Night’s Dream is packed with animal eroticism, that Shakespeare’s histories are about grand mechanistic forces, and that Hamlet is a deeply political play about surveillance, fear and corruption that ends with a foreign military invasion?


Reading it again today, I am stunned by how much of it has been absorbed into our theatrical culture.

Induring the darkest period of Soviet terror, Kott published an ideological manifesto about the role of theater, entitled “O teatr godny naszej epoki” For theater worthy of our timesin which he demanded a “new” theater subservient to the Party and its ideology. What’s with that Academy? Michael Boyd’s RSC “Shakespeare history” cycle in demonstrated impersonal forces at work in its progress from late medieval England to the modern world.

All that is left to him is self-destruction. He became a communist in the s, and took part in the defense of Contemporray.

Kott shrewdly analyses the contradictions in the character of Coriolanus and the play. Historicism Paul Hamilton No preview available – But it’s interesting how these points still, subconsciously or not, affect productions.

Retrieved 21 March Shakespeare remains our contemporary in extraordinarily vivid ways. Views Read Edit View history. In SeptemberKott fought in the Polish army in its futile campaign against the German invasion and then, after a period in Lvov, returned to Nazi-occupied Warsaw. This book is a provocative, original study of the major plays shakewpeare Shakespeare; more than that, however, it is one of the few critical works to have strongly influenced theatrical productions.