Scholarly occupations most often deal with The Tempest and Tamburlaine the Great, Part I & II, without much heed taken as to the real meaning of the recurrent syntagm ‘Argier’ and what its origins really are. This archaeological and toponymic effort runs counter to a dynastic tradition emanating from an approximate historical evaluation and geographic misevaluation which harbor the usual and inconsiderate thought that ‘Argier’ is “an old name for Algiers”, or even incongruously refer to it in some cases as “Algeria”. Under the whirlwind of the Derridean concept of “deconstruction”, and within a Saidian frame of reference, this paper subverts these centrifugal parameters configured by editors, usually through a refractory lens and a superficial historical trawl, and perpetuated by translators, appropriation and adaptation practitioners and other generations of editors. An eye to Renaissance plays and their editions all the more diverse have in fact given cause to suspect such deductions imprecise and only partially reliable. Coming with the augurs of its time, one should confront this seemingly unimportant terminology long-neglected through a painstakingly historical, geographical and linguistic prism to theorize its origins and linguistic usage in Europe, its development in the 16th and 17th centuries, and comprehend how it has come to resemble today's ‘Algiers’. Memory as safeguarded in literature, and Renaissance drama most significantly, serves hereby as a canvas to read ‘Argier’ and ‘toponymically’ study its different name bestowals as projected in 16th and 17th c. Europe (namely France and England) in an attempt to imagine and reconstruct its origins, and comprehend its usage and development with a focus on its mention in English Renaissance Drama, Shakespeare's The Tempest and Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great (Part I & II), and Renaissance French drama, with particular attention to Philippe Quinault's unedited version of La généreuse ingratitude and its English translation by Sir William Lower Knight (The Noble Ingratitude).
‘Argier’ through Renaissance Drama: Investigating History, Studying Etymology and Reshuffling Geography
Mohamed Salah Eddine Madiou; ‘Argier’ through Renaissance Drama: Investigating History, Studying Etymology and Reshuffling Geography. The Arab World Geographer 1 January 2019; 22 (1-2): 120–149. doi: https://doi.org/10.5555/1480-6800.22.1.120
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