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Though Conrad expresses explicit colonialism, his writing ‘is actualized and animated’ by latent postcolonial ‘emphases and inflections’ (2003, 25). Through latency one gains a deeper understanding of resistance in the very texts complicit in colonialism, and therein the postcolonial struggle is able to draw power. It is the case that much psychoanalytic criticism of Shakespeare has elicited disappointing results. C. A. C. ’), as well as Freud and Ernest Jones, when their writing strays into literary analysis, come at Shakespeare’s characters as if they were case studies.

Nevertheless, 22 Introduction as Greenblatt’s notion of ‘fulfillment’ suggests, ought one not to read psychoanalysis both as ‘effacement’ of the Renaissance and itself as spoken into being by the Renaissance? Might this mean that as we efface, in another sense we return to the effaced? At stake is the task of criticism. Should one evade as best one can the discomfiting intrusions into Shakespearean material of contemporary voices – as does some recent historicist criticism? Or might theory locate textual traces of Shakespeare that make themselves heard in its own voice, that speak theory into being?

The void as temporarily fashionable collaborative behavioural practice involved adapting the procedures of formal dining to ceremonialize an encounter with nothingness. In its most evolved form, substantial culinary and architectural investments were required to elicit its pleasure. Despite the fact that it was named after its emptiness, the force of the void’s appeal was bound to the way its nothingness was concealed beneath a deceptive surface effect. Offering, in its more developed forms, a surface-level mimicry of the meat course, the theatricality of void food, and the visual pleasure that it elicited, came to invoke its supplemental relation to the earlier courses of the meal.

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