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Translating Investments

Metaphor and the Dynamics of Cultural Change in Tudor-Stuart England

Judith Anderson

Publication Year: 2005

The title Translating Investments, a manifold pun, refers to metaphor and clothing, authority and interest, and trading and finance. Translation, Latin translatio, is historically a name for metaphor, and investment, etymologically a reference to clothing, participates both in the complex symbolism of early modern dress and in the cloth trade of the period. In this original and wide-ranging book, Judith Anderson studies the functioning of metaphor as a constructive force within language, religious doctrine and politics, literature, rhetoric, and economics during the reigns of the Tudors and early Stuarts. Invoking a provocative metaphorical concept from Andy Clark's version of cognitive science, she construes metaphor itself as a form of scaffolding fundamental to human culture. A more traditional and controversial conception of such scaffolding is known as sublation-Hegel's Aufhebung, or raising,as the philosophers Jacques Derrida and Paul Ricoeur have understood this term. Metaphor is the agent of raising, or sublation, and sublation is inseparable from the productive life of metaphor, as distinct in its death in code or clich. At the same time, metaphor embodies the sense both of partial loss and of continuity, or preservation, also conveyed by the term Aufhebung. Anderson's study is simultaneously critical and historical. History and the theory are shown to be mutually enlightening, as are a wide variety of early modern texts and their specific cultural contexts. From beginning to end, this study touches the present, engaging questions about language, rhetoric, and reading within post-structuralism and neo-cognitivism. It highlights connections between intellectual problems active in our own culture and those evident in the earlier texts, controversies, and crises Anderson analyzes. In this way, the study is bifocal, like metaphor itself. While Anderson's overarching concern is with metaphor as a creative exchange, a source of code-breaking conceptual power, each of her chapters focuses on a different but related issue and cultural sector. Foci include the basic conditions of linguistic meaning in the early modern period, instantiated by Shakespeare's plays and related to modern theories of metaphor; the role of metaphor in the words of eucharistic institution under Archbishop Cranmer; the play of metaphor and metonymy in the writings of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin and in John Donne's Devotions; the manipulation of these two tropes in the politics of the controversy over ecclesiastical vestments and in its treatment by John Foxe; the abuse of figuration in the house of Edmund Spenser's Busirane, where catachresis, an extreme form of metaphor, is the trope du jour; the conception of metaphor in the Roman rhetorics and their legacy in the sixteenth century; and the concept of exchange in the economic writing of Gerrard de Malynes, merchant and metaphorist in the reigns of Elizabeth and James. What emerges at the end of this book is a heightened critical sense of the dynamic of metaphor in cultural history.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Translating Investments

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p. vii

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pp. ix-xi

This project began in 1995–1996 at the National Humanities Center, where I was appointed the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. I subsequently spent two months on a grant from the Huntington Library for additional work on its third chapter. Essentially, I finished the book...

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Chapter 1: Renaissance Metaphor and the Dynamic of Cultural Change: An Introductory Road Map

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pp. 1-7

This book studies the functioning of metaphor in Tudor and early Stuart culture. Accordingly, its chapters treat a range of disciplines, including language, religion, rhetoric, politics, literature, and economics. Also and inevitably, it touches the present, raising questions about the position of language...

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Chapter 2: Translating Investments: The Metaphoricity of Language, Hamlet, and 2 Henry IV

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pp. 8-35

In this chapter, my argument, which is historical in orientation, suggests a way of conceiving language that informs the metaphoricity of Renaissance writings and bears on our reading of them. In doing so, it also addresses contemporary debates about the metaphoricity of language and their...

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Chapter 3: Language and History in the Reformation: Translating Matter to Metaphor in the Sacrament

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pp. 36-60

What follows further concerns two interlocking interests: the involvement of language in history, history in language, and herein the particular role of language, especially figurative language, in the early reforms of the established church in Tudor England. Still more specifically, my concerns in this...

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Chapter 4: Donne’s Tropic Awareness: Metaphor, Metonymy, and Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

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pp. 61-77

To ask in what ways and to what extent John Donne might have been aware of the dazzling tropes he used would seem a question whose answer is selfevident. Historically, however, this is a real question, and one bearing on faith and ideology. To take an obvious instance, the correspondences...

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Chapter 5: Vesting Significance and Authority: The Vestiarian Controversy under Cranmer and Its Treatment by Foxe

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pp. 78-111

That a particular outfit or a more general style of clothing should make a ‘‘statement’’ is a familiar enough idea in the twenty-first century. It assumes that clothing, like language, participates in a system of signs, and that plain clothing, such as chinos or blue jeans, can be every bit as much a statement...

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Chapter 6: Busirane’s Place: The House of Abusive Rhetoric in The Faerie Queene

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pp. 112-128

That the House of Busirane, culmination of the 1590 edition of Spenser’s Faerie Queene, should be a ‘‘house’’ in the rhetorical sense—a rhetorical place or topos—came with the surprise of delayed recognition to me, as well as to the audiences with whom I have shared and explored this...

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Chapter 7: Catachresis and Metaphor: ‘‘Be Bold, Be Bold, Be Not Too Bold’’ in the Latin Rhetorical Tradition and Its Renaissance Adaptors

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pp. 129-165

Twice in recent chapters, I have invoked Richard Lanham’s definition of catachresis as a wrenching of metaphor or an extravagant use of it, in any case, as a violent (mis)use of language. Qualifying Lanham’s definition, I have also observed the appreciation of traditional rhetoric...

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Chapter 8: Exchanging Values: The Economic and Rhetorical World Seen by Gerrard de Malynes, Merchant

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pp. 166-216

In 1622, Gerrard de Malynes, self-styled ‘‘Merchant,’’ published his magnum opus entitled Consuetudo, vel Lex Mercatoria, or The Antient Law-Merchant. While concerned with mercantile law (and nowadays found in law libraries), Lex Mercatoria focuses primarily on mercantile custom. It fundamentally engages economic issues, as do Malynes’ earlier writings, on which...


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pp. 217-288

Works Cited

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pp. 289-310


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pp. 311-324

E-ISBN-13: 9780823248568
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823224210
Print-ISBN-10: 082322421X

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2005

OCLC Number: 191818348
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Translating Investments

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Subject Headings

  • England -- Civilization -- 17th century.
  • Renaissance -- England.
  • English language -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- Rhetoric.
  • England -- Civilization -- 16th century.
  • English literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism.
  • Translating and interpreting -- England -- History -- 17th century.
  • Translating and interpreting -- England -- History -- 16th century.
  • Metaphor.
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