Review in The Journal of Popular Culture

It is a wildly exciting moment for any author when her work takes on a life of its own, is read and interpreted by others, starts a dialogue, a discussion, an exchange. An insightful review of Polish Theatre Revisited has just appeared in The Journal of Popular Culture, written by Orel Beilinson from the Yale University. I am truly honoured that TJPC and dr. Orel Beilinson found my work worthy of review!

Dr. Beilinson both praises and criticizes my method and narrative:

This book will surprise historians of the nineteenth century; it is scattered with dramatizations and imaginations of histories not accessible to us, replete with references to the contemporary United States, and directs its dialogue to scholars of contemporary popular culture. These features make it very valuable. While not all arguments are equally convincing, it encourages readers to consider the nineteenth century as closer to us than we ordinarily acknowledge.

While this chapter [chapter five on Japanese vogue] provides fascinating detail, one may wonder to what extent the constant shift between past and present (bound by “timeless correlations”, as the author says on page 238) supplants analysis rather than facilitates it. This is true for other cases throughout the book: analogies, often underdeveloped, come just when more engagement with the past itself would have helped.

Something to think about!

The Journal of Popular Culture (TJPC) is a peer-reviewed journal and the official publication of the Popular Culture Association. Dr. Novotny Lawrence is the editor-in-chief, and dr. Yuya Kiuchi runs the Book Review section. Thanks for your interest in Polish Theatre Revisited.






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