Access your Project MUSE content using one of the login options below Close(X)
Browse Results For:
The Philosophy of Generosity in Shakespeare and Marlowe
Forgiving the Gift challenges the tendency to reflexively understand gifts as exchanges, negotiations, and circulations. Lawrence reads plays by Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare as informed by an early modern belief in the possibility and even necessity of radical generosity, of gifts that break the cycle of economy and self-interest. The prologue reads Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus to show how the play aligns gift and grace, depicting Faustus’s famous bond as the instrument simultaneously of reciprocal exchange and of damnation. In the introduction, the author frames his argument theoretically by placing Marcel Mauss’s classic essay, The Gift, into dialogue with Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, and Paul Ricoeur to sketch two very different understandings of gift-giving. In the first, described by Mauss, the gift becomes a covert form of exchange. Though Mauss contrasts the gift economy with the market economy, his description of the gift economy nevertheless undermines his own project of discovering in it a basis for social solidarity. In the second understanding of gift exchange, derived from the philosophy of Levinas, the gift expresses the radical asymmetry of ethical concern. Literature and philosophy scholars alike will benefit from the original readings of The Merchant of Venice, Edward II, King Lear, Titus Andronicus, and The Tempest, which constitute the body of the text. These readings find in the plays a generosity that exceeds the social practice of gift-giving, because extraordinarily generous acts of friendship or filial affection survive the collapse of social norms. Antonio inMerchant and the title character in Edward II practice a friendship whose extravagance marks its excess. Lear, on the other hand, brings about his tragedy by attempting to reduce filial love to debt. Titus also discovers a love excessive to social convention when rape and mutilation annihilate his daughter’s cultural value. Finally, Prospero in The Tempest sacrifices power and even his own life for the love of his daughter, giving a gift rendered asymmetrical by both its excess and its secrecy. While proposing new readings of works of Renaissance drama, Forgiving the Gift also questions the model of human life from which many contemporary readings, especially those characterized as new historicist or cultural materialist, grow. In so doing, it addresses questions of how we are to understand literary texts, but also how we are to live with others in the world.
This collection presents, in a single volume, key seminal essays in the study of James Joyce. Representing important contributions to scholarship that have helped shape current methods of approaching Joyce’s works, the volume reacquaints contemporary readers with the literature that forms the basis of ongoing scholarly inquiries in the field.
Foundational Essays in James Joyce Studies makes this trailblazing scholarship readily accessible to readers. Offering three essays each on Joyce’s four main works (Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake), editor Michael Patrick Gillespie provides a contextual general introduction as well as short introductions to each section that describe the essays that follow and their original contribution to the field. Featuring works by Robert Boyle, Edmund L. Epstein, S. L. Goldberg, Clive Hart, A. Walton Litz, Robert Scholes, Thomas F. Staley, James R. Thrane, Thomas F. Van Laan, and Florence L. Walzl, this is a volume that no serious scholar of Joyce can be without.
The New Woman Criminal in British Culture at the Fin de Siecle
Framed uses fin de siècle British crime narrative to pose a highly interesting question: why do female criminal characters tend to be alluring and appealing while fictional male criminals of the era are unsympathetic or even grotesque? In this elegantly argued study, Elizabeth Carolyn Miller addresses this question, examining popular literary and cinematic culture from roughly 1880 to 1914 to shed light on an otherwise overlooked social and cultural type: the conspicuously glamorous New Woman criminal. In so doing, she breaks with the many Foucauldian studies of crime to emphasize the genuinely subversive aspects of these popular female figures. Drawing on a rich body of archival material, Miller argues that the New Woman Criminal exploited iconic elements of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century commodity culture, including cosmetics and clothing, to fashion an illicit identity that enabled her to subvert legal authority in both the public and the private spheres. "This is a truly extraordinary argument, one that will forever alter our view of turn-of-the-century literary culture, and Miller has demonstrated it with an enrapturing series of readings of fictional and filmic criminal figures. In the process, she has filled a gap between feminist studies of the New Woman of the 1890s and more gender-neutral studies of early twentieth-century literary and social change. Her book offers an extraordinarily important new way to think about the changing shape of political culture at the turn of the century." ---John Kucich, Professor of English, Rutgers University "Given the intellectual adventurousness of these chapters, the rich material that the author has brought to bear, and its combination of archival depth and disciplinary range, any reader of this remarkable book will be amply rewarded." ---Jonathan Freedman, Professor of English and American Culture, University of Michigan Elizabeth Carolyn Miller is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Davis. digitalculturebooks is an imprint of the University of Michigan and the Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library dedicated to publishing innovative and accessible work exploring new media and their impact on society, culture, and scholarly communication. Visit the website at www.digitalculture.org.
Love and Embarrassment in Shakespeare's Venice
Shakespeare's two Venetian plays are dominated by the discourse of embarrassment. The Merchant of Venice is a comedy of embarrassment, and Othello is a tragedy of embarrassment. This nomenclature is admittedly anachronistic, because the term "embarrassment" didn't enter the language until the late seventeenth century. To embarrass is to make someone feel awkward or uncomfortable, humiliated or ashamed. Such feelings may respond to specific acts of criticism, blame, or accusation. "To embarrass" is literally to "embar": to put up a barrier or deny access. The bar of embarrassment may be raised by unpleasant experiences. It may also be raised when people are denied access to things, persons, and states of being they desire or to which they feel entitled. The Venetian plays represent embarrassment not merely as a condition but as a weapon and as the wound the weapon inflicts. Characters in The Merchant of Venice and Othello devote their energies to embarrassing one another. But even when the weapon is sheathed, it makes its presence felt, as when Desdemona means to praise Othello and express her love for him: "I saw Othello's visage in his mind" (1.3.253). This suggests, among other things, that she didn't see it in his face.
The Revised Text
Scarcely two years later Walter Pater’s death, Macmillan & Co. published Gaston de Latour: An Unfinished Romance. The author of works critical to the formation of the Transition and Modernist periods set his last novel in the turbulent years following the Reformation. For a century readers have seen only a portion of what pater wrote for Gaston de Latour. Gaston de Latour: The Revised Text is edited from the holographs and based on definitive material incorporating all know fragments and includes crucial suppressed chapters.
The Rhetoric of Reproduction in Early Modern England
Generating Bodies and Gendered Selves examines the textured interrelations between medical writing about generation and childbirth - what we now call reproduction - and emerging notions of selfhood in early modern England. At a time when medical texts first appeared in English in large numbers and the first signs of modern medicine were emerging both in theory and in practice, medical discourse of the body was richly interwoven with cultural concerns. Through close readings of a wide range of English-language medical texts from the mid-sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, from learned anatomies and works of observational embryology to popular books of physic and commercial midwifery manuals, Keller looks at the particular assumptions about bodies and selves that medical language inevitably enfolds. When wombs are described as "free" but nonetheless "bridled" to the bone; when sperm, first seen in the seventeenth century by the aid of the microscope, are imagined as minute "adventurers" seeking a safe spot to be "nursed": and when for the first time embryos are described as "freeborn," fully "independent" from the females who bear them, the rhetorical formulations of generating bodies seem clearly to implicate ideas about the gendered self. Keller shows how, in an age marked by social, intellectual, and political upheaval, early modern English medicine inscribes in the flesh and functioning of its generating bodies the manifold questions about gender, politics, and philosophy that together give rise to the modern Western liberal self - a historically constrained (and, Keller argues, a historically aberrant) notion of the self as individuated and autonomous, fully rational and thoroughly male. An engagingly written and interdisciplinary work that forges a critical nexus among medical history, cultural studies, and literary analysis, Generating Bodies and Gendered Selves will interest scholars in early modern literary studies, feminist and cultural studies of the body and subjectivity, and the history of women's healthcare and reproductive rights. Eve Keller is associate professor of English at Fordham University in New York and is president of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.
The Vorticist Idiom in Lewis, Pound, H.D., and Yeats
Addressing both the literature and the visual arts of Anglo-American modernism, The Geometry of Modernism recovers a crucial development of modernism's early years that until now has received little sustained critical attention: the distinctive idiom composed of geometric forms and metaphors generated within the early modernist movement of Vorticism, formed in London in 1914. Focusing on the work of Wyndham Lewis, leader of the Vorticist movement, as well as Ezra Pound, H.D., and William Butler Yeats, Hickman examines the complex of motives out of which Lewis initially forged the geometric lexicon of Vorticism—and then how Pound, H.D., and Yeats later responded to it and the values that it encoded, enlisting both the geometric vocabulary and its attendant assumptions and ideals, in transmuted form, in their later modernist work. Placing the genesis and appropriation of the geometric idiom in historical context, Hickman explores how despite its brevity as a movement, Vorticism in fact exerted considerable impact on modernist work of the years between the wars, in that its geometric idiom enabled modernist writers to articulate their responses to both personal and political crises of the 1930s and 1940s. Informed by extensive archival research as well as treatment of several of the least-known texts of the modernist milieu, The Geometry of Modernism clarifies and enriches the legacy of this vital period.
Vol. 20 (1996-1997) through current issue
The George Herbert Journal publishes essays and notes on the life and work of George Herbert, and also features occasional special issues on subjects related to early to mid-17th-century poetry, particularly devotional poetry. We also review books relevant to Herbert in particular and 17th-century poetry and thought in general.
In August 1919, a production of James Joyce's Exiles was mounted at the Munich Schauspielhaus and quickly fell due to harsh criticism. The reception marked the beginning of a dynamic association between Joyce, German-language writers, and literary critics. It is this relationship that Robert Weninger analyzes in The German Joyce.
Opening a new dimension of Joycean scholarship, this book provides the premier study of Joyce's impact on German-language literature and literary criticism in the twentieth century. The opening section follows Joyce's linear intrusion from the 1910s to the 1990s by focusing on such prime moments as the first German translation of Ulysses, Joyce's influence on the Marxist Expressionism debate, and the Nazi blacklisting of Joyce's work. Utilizing this historical reception as a narrative backdrop, Weninger then presents Joyce's horizontal diffusion into German culture.
Weninger succeeds in illustrating both German readers' great attraction to Joyce's work as well as Joyce's affinity with some of the great German masters, including Goethe and Rilke. He argues that just as Shakespeare was a model of linguistic exuberance for Germans in the eighteenth century, Joyce became the epitome of poetic inspiration in the twentieth.
This volume, through Weninger's critiques and repositions, simultaneously revisits the fraught relationship between influence and intertextuality in literary studies and reassesses their value as tools for contemporary comparative criticism today.
The Politics of Pain in Romantic Fiction
An intriguing scholarly investigation, not so much of the ways the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries articulated pain, but of the ways in which pain itself articulated the late eighteenth-century experience. Through analysis of novels, plays, and poems, the author explores the transition from sensibility as a sense of "selflessness" to Romanticism, which puts the self in the foreground as the mediating consciousness. His tightly focused discussion sets a starting point for further critical investigation of the subject.