Prospero’s Books thus is an instance of what we might call “immanent theory,” an artifact meditating on the theoretical grounds of its own existence. Greenaway himself has characterized his own work in film, painting, and literature as “an investigative procedure of approaching phenomenology on a very wide front” (Smith 55). As such, Prospero’s Books draws our attention to the medium within which our experience of Shakespeare takes place, and the interpretive practices that medium prompts. Greenaway has been taken to task for his adaptation’s lack of an explicit politics, his failure, for example, to take into account recent postcolonial critiques of The Tempest. It is certainly true that Greenaway’s essential interest is in the relationship between the artist and his representational apparatus (Phelan 48-9). But that interest points, I think, to some of the ironies in our broadened sense of “text” in the wake of Roland Barthes, for the poststructuralist concept of “text” has enabled us to “read” “performances” but only at the expense of their phenomenological specificity. Prospero’s Books confronts directly the issue of the Shakespearean medium, raising anew the crucial question of what forms the Shakespearean book and the cultural capital it represents can take in a post-literate age. By problematizing (though certainly not escaping from) the hegemony that Shakespearean textualism continues to hold over our critical imaginations, even in an age of electronic reproduction, Greenaway points performance criticism toward a double challenge: a fuller account of the relation of performance criticism to recording technologies, and the shaping of a practice more attentive to the mundane specificities of the media that render performance capable of study: painting, sculpture, record, tape, CDROM, videotape, telecast, film, stage performance, still photos, promptbooks, production notes, and text-the complex phenomenological palimpsest that inescapably constitutes our Shakespearean book.