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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Reading it again today, I am stunned by how much of it has been absorbed into our theatrical culture. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: A leading proponent of Stalinism in Poland for nearly a decade after the Soviet takeover, Kott renounced his Communist Party membership in following the anti-Stalinist Polish October of First published in Polish in the ‘s it brought a 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.

As Peter Brook wrote in the introduction to the English edition, Kott is the only Elizabethan scholar to assume that his readers “will at some point or other have been woken by the police in the middle of the night.

I suspect Kott goes a bit far when he argues that it is the cinema, not the theatre, that best conveys the “fluency, homogeneity and rapidity of action” of Shakespeare’s plays. But it’s interesting how these points still, subconsciously or not, affect productions. We expect any Shakespeare production to possess the fluidity and speed of a good movie. His famous essay, Shakespeare or Endgamedrew provocative parallels between King Lear and Beckett’s compressed masterpiece and suggested that in both cathartic tragedy had been replaced by a sense of the grotesque: Reportedly, Peter Brook ‘s film King Lear and Roman Polanski ‘s Macbeth both made in were influenced by Kott’s view of Shakespearean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”.


Partly, that stemmed from Kott’s experience of living in a Poland that was either under Nazi occupation or Soviet domination.

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.

Worthen Shakespeare Our Contemporary: Michael Boyd’s RSC “Shakespeare history” cycle in demonstrated impersonal forces at work in its progress from late medieval England to the modern world. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Shakespeare, our contemporary – Jan Kott – Google Books

Kott traveled to the United States in on a scholarship from the Ford Foundation. He took a similar approach to his reading of Greek tragedy in The Eating of the Gods. He became a communist in the shakesoeare, and took part in the defense of Warsaw. Born in Warsaw in to a Jewish family, Kott was baptized into the Catholic Church at the age of five.

He died in Ahakespeare Monica, California after a heart attack in If we still see Shakespeare as our contemporary, we have a largely forgotten Polish theatrical scholar to thank for it. Views Read Edit View history.

Anyone who doubts Kott’s continuing relevance should first read his essay on Coriolanus and then go and see Sakespeare Fiennes’s viscerally exciting new film.

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K is for Jan Kott

Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Peter Brook and Charles Marowitz are among the many directors who contenporary acknowledged their debt to Jan Kott, finding He praised Joseph Stalin, but mostly concentrated on theater.


Show 25 25 50 All. As a theatrical reviewer, Kott received praise for his readings of the classics, and above all of Shakespeare. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. This page was last edited on 4 Decemberat Every historical period finds in him what it is looking for and From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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.

A poet, translator, and literary critic, he became one of the shakespfare prolific essayists of the Polish school in America. 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.

This book is one of the most important ever written about Shakespeare. Jan ,ott, Shakespeare Our Contemporary.

Historian Teresa Wilniewczyc noted, that his zeal for totalitarian control over the world of Polish culture was “far more than was required”. 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. Shakespeare remains our contemporary in extraordinarily vivid ways.

Retrieved 4 December Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Only after the Stalin era came to an end, did he become its ardent critic March This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase.

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.