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Baroque Horrors

Roots of the Fantastic in the Age of Curiosities

David R. Castillo

David Castillo takes us on a tour of some horrific materials that have rarely been considered together. He sheds a fantastical new light on the baroque. ---Anthony J. Cascardi, University of California Berkeley "Baroque Horrors is a textual archeologist's dream, scavenged from obscure chronicles, manuals, minor histories, and lesser-known works of major artists. Castillo finds tales of mutilation, mutation, monstrosity, murder, and mayhem, and delivers them to us with an inimitable flair for the sensational that nonetheless rejects sensationalism because it remains so grounded in historical fact." ---William Egginton, Johns Hopkins University "Baroque Horrors is a major contribution to baroque ideology, as well as an exploration of the grotesque, the horrible, the fantastic. Castillo organizes his monograph around the motif of curiosity, refuting the belief that Spain is a country incapable of organized scientific inquiry." ---David Foster, Arizona State University Baroque Horrors turns the current cultural and political conversation from the familiar narrative patterns and self-justifying allegories of abjection to a dialogue on the history of our modern fears and their monstrous offspring. When life and death are severed from nature and history, "reality" and "authenticity" may be experienced as spectator sports and staged attractions, as in the "real lives" captured by reality TV and the "authentic cadavers" displayed around the world in the Body Worlds exhibitions. Rather than thinking of virtual reality and staged authenticity as recent developments of the postmodern age, Castillo looks back to the Spanish baroque period in search for the roots of the commodification of nature and the horror vacui that accompanies it. Aimed at specialists, students, and readers of early modern literature and culture in the Spanish and Anglophone traditions as well as anyone interested in horror fantasy, Baroque Horrors offers new ways to rethink broad questions of intellectual and political history and relate them to the modern age. David Castillo is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Jacket art: Frederick Ruysch's anatomical diorama. Engraving reproduction "drawn from life" by Cornelius Huyberts. Image from the Zymoglyphic Museum.

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Calíope: Journal of the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry

Vol. 20 (2015) through current issue

Calíope, a critical journal of poetry of Spain and the Americas during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, is published biannually by the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry since 1995, and is provided to members of the society.

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The Eighteenth Century

Vol. 47 (2006) through current issue

The Eighteenth Century fosters theoretical and interpretive research on all aspects of Western culture, 1660-1800. The editors take special interest in essays that apply innovative contemporary methodologies to the study of eighteenth-century literature, history, science, fine arts, and popular culture.

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Eighteenth-Century Fiction

Vol. 1 (1988) through current issue

Eighteenth-Century Fiction publishes articles in both English and French on all aspects of imaginative prose in the period 1700–1800, but will also examine papers on late 17th-century or early 19th-century fiction, particularly when the works are discussed in connection with the eighteenth century.

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Eighteenth-Century Life

Vol. 20 (1996) through current issue

With a firm commitment to interdisciplinary exchange, Eighteenth-Century Life addresses all aspects of European and world culture during the long eighteenth century, 1660-1815. The most wide-ranging journal of eighteenth-century studies, it also encourages diverse methodologies--from close reading to cultural studies--and it is always open to suggestions for innovative approaches and special issues. Among Eighteenth-Century Life's noteworthy regular features are its film forums, its review essays, the longest and most eclectic lists of books received of any journal in the field, and its book-length special issues.

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Eighteenth-Century Studies

Vol. 29 (1995/96) through current issue

Eighteenth-Century Studies is committed to publishing the best of current writing on all aspects of eighteenth-century culture. The journal publishes different modes of analysis and disciplinary discourses that explore how recent historiographical, critical, and theoretical ideas have engaged scholars concerned with the eighteenth century. Eighteenth-Century Studies is the official publication of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS).

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Esthetics of the Moment

Literature and Art in the French Enlightenment

By Thomas M. Kavanagh

The literature and art of the French Enlightenment is everywhere marked by an intense awareness of the moment. The parallel projects of living in, representing, and learning from the moment run through the Enlightenment's endeavors as tokens of an ambition and a heritage imposing its only and ultimately impossible cohesion. In this illuminating study, Thomas M. Kavanagh argues that Enlightenment culture and its tensions, contradictions, and achievements flow from a subversive attention to the present as present, freed from the weight of past and future.

Examining a wide sweep of literary and artistic culture, Kavanagh argues against the traditional view of the Age of Reason as one of coherent, recognizable ideology expressed in a structured narrative form. In literature, he analyzes the moment at work in the inebriating lightness of Marivaux's repartee; the new-found freedom of Lahontan's and Rousseau's ideals of a consciousness limited to the present; Diderot's championing of Epicurean epistemology; Graffigny's portrayal of abrupt cultural displacement; and Casanova's penchant for chance's redefining moment. The moment in art theory and practice is explored in such forms as de Piles's defense of color; Du Bos's foregrounding of perception; Watteau's indulgence in a corporeal present; Chardin's dismantling of mimesis; and Boucher's and Fragonard's thematics of desire.

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Fleshing out surfaces

Skin in French art and medicine, 1650–1850

Mechthild Fend

A strong and insightful work which argues that skin is not just any surface an artist can represent, but a highly overdetermined one. Focusing on five French painters - Fragonard, David, Girodet, Benoit and Ingres - it spans the fields of history of art and of medicine.

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Hume Studies

Vol. 1 (1975) through current issue

Hume Studies is an interdisciplinary scholarly journal dedicated to publishing important work bearing on the thought of David Hume. Hume Studies is receptive to a wide variety of topics, methods, and approaches, so long as the work contributes to the understanding of Hume's thought, meets the highest standards of scholarship, and demonstrates mastery of the relevant scholarly literature. Hume Studies is published by the Hume Society in April and November. For more information on joining the Hume Society, please visit www.humesociety.org.

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The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter

A Portrait of Descartes

Steven Nadler

In the Louvre museum hangs a portrait of a middle-aged man with long dark hair, a mustache, and heavy-lidded eyes, and he is dressed in the starched white collar and black coat of the typical Dutch burgher. The painting is now the iconic image of René Descartes, the great seventeenth-century French philosopher. And the painter of the work? The Dutch master Frans Hals--or so it was long believed, until the work was downgraded to a copy of an original. But where, then, is the authentic version located, and who painted it? Is the man in the painting--and in its original--really Descartes?

A unique combination of philosophy, biography, and art history, The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter investigates the remarkable individuals and circumstances behind a small portrait. Through this image--and the intersecting lives of a brilliant philosopher, a Catholic priest, and a gifted painter--Steven Nadler opens up a fascinating portal into Descartes's life and times, skillfully presenting an accessible introduction to Descartes's philosophical and scientific ideas, and an illuminating tour of the volatile political and religious environment of the Dutch Golden Age. As Nadler shows, Descartes's innovative ideas about the world, about human nature and knowledge, and about philosophy itself, stirred great controversy. Philosophical and theological critics vigorously opposed his views, and civil and ecclesiastic authorities condemned his writings. Nevertheless, Descartes's thought came to dominate the philosophical world of the period, and can rightly be called the philosophy of the seventeenth century.

Shedding light on a well-known image, The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter offers an engaging exploration of a celebrated philosopher's world and work.

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