Review: Ashwin Desai, Reading Revolution: Shakespeare on Robben Island

Rhodes, Jason
Date Written:  2016-10-09
Publisher:  Insurgent Notes
Year Published:  2016
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20265

A book review: Ashwin Desai, Reading Revolution: Shakespeare on Robben Island.



Desai wants us to read Reading Revolution "not only as an act of historical memory but also as a critical examination of the past as a means of responding to challenges in the present. Not to be imprisoned by history but to make it." As the freedom fighters profiled here so profoundly illustrate with their subversive readings of Shakespeare, the act of reading is a transformative process that works upon both reader and text. As such, the appropriate question regarding Reading Revolution probably isn't what its revolutionary message is, but rather what revolutionary discoveries lie in store for us if we explore even a few of the myriad paths and possibilities encountered on our individual journeys through the text. Our individual readings can coalesce into collective action through critical dialogues about the text, and our experience reading it, that actively seek common ground for action on the basis of challenges and possibilities encountered while reading.

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