In Shakespeare Relocated, Hugh Macrae Richmond uses his previously published essays to illustrate the development of modern attitudes towards religion, politics, and sexuality. He traces the complex evolution from classical and medieval sources to Reformation and Renaissance ones by reviewing literary themes, styles, and attitudes. He stresses Shakespeare’s unique place in the evolution of historical psychology as an author profoundly affected by the Reformation. This study of developing sensibility employs a method of critical analysis bridging the apparent gap between scholarly research and practical criticism and transcends the discontinuities and tensions in modern literary theory. He seeks to harmonize the critical alertness of the New Critics with the traditional scholarship of their opponents, while avoiding the narrowness of many fashionable modern methodologies such as New Historicism, Neo-Freudianism, radical feminism, etc. This historical perspective involves a comparative critical procedure defined as "syncretic criticism." It combines close reading and comprehensive perspective over previous literary analogues to identify distinctive progressions towards many modern attitudes about politics, morality, sexuality, and fashion.
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Studies in Historical Psychology
Hugh Macrae Richmond
Reading the Anglo-Saxon Self Through the Vercelli Book explores conceptions of subjectivity in Anglo-Saxon England by analyzing the contents and sources of the Vercelli Book, a tenth-century compilation of Old English religious poetry and prose. The Vercelli Book’s selection and arrangement of texts has long perplexed scholars, but this book argues that its organizational logic lies in the relationship of its texts to the performance of selfhood. Many of the poems and homilies represent subjectivity through "soul-and-body," a popular medieval literary motif that describes the soul’s physical departure from the body at death and its subsequent addresses to the body. Vercelli’s soul-and-body texts, together with its exemplary narratives of apostles and saints, construct a model of selfhood that is embodied and performative, predicated upon an interdependent relationship between the soul and the body in which the body has the potential for salvific action. The book thus theorizes an Anglo-Saxon conception of the self that challenges modern assumptions of a rigid soul/body dualism in medieval religious and literary tradition. Its arguments will therefore be of interest to students and scholars of literature, history, philosophy, and religious studies and would be appropriate for upper-level courses on Old English literature, Anglo-Saxon history, sermons and preaching in medieval England, and medieval religious practice.
Class Privilege, Gender Disadvantage, Minority Status
In Muslim Indian Women Writing in English: Class Privilege, Gender Disadvantage, Minority Status, Dr. Elizabeth Jackson conducts a study of the literary fiction of the four best-known Muslim Indian women writing in English during the postcolonial period: Attia Hosain (1913–1998), Zeenuth Futehally (1904–1992), Shama Futehally (no relation, 1952–2004), and Samina Ali (b. 1969). As elite Muslim women in India, the literary vision of these authors is influenced by their paradoxical position of class privilege, gender disadvantage, and minority status. Accordingly, there are recurring thematic concerns central to the fiction of all four writers, each of which forms a chapter in the book: "Religion and Communal Identity," "Marriage and Sexuality," "Gender and Social Class," and "Responding to Patriarchy." The first chapter, "Form and Narrative Strategy," provides an initial framework by examining the literary techniques of each writer.
Much has been written about literature in English by Indian women, about Muslim literature in general, about the Muslim minority in India, and about Muslim women all over the world. However, until now there has been no major academic study of literature in English by Muslim Indian women. Aimed at researchers, students, and general readers, this book aims to fill that gap in the critical scholarship.
Nelly G. Kupper
This book examines the concept of the gaze in the context of narrative fiction. It argues that the gaze in fiction is a tractable factor, identifying the function of characters by way of the gender. The gaze variance and its connection to memory is not new to literary scholarship, but what has been overlooked to date is the fact that the divide exists along the line of gender. The dyad gaze-memory, provided by literary scholarship thus far is erroneous; what emerges instead is a triadic paradigm gaze-memory-gender. The gender divide is reflected in neuroscience, which shows memory processing in man and woman as respectively losing (forgetting) or retaining (remembering) vividness of detail. The discussion focuses on two narratives, one ancient (the Orphic cycle) the other modern (the novel Le Grand Meaulnes) to show that despite the presence of new narrative devices and conventions, the rules of the paradigm are preserved.
Ludwig Tieck's Skillful Study of the Mind
Joseph D. Rockelmann
When reading Ludwig Tieck’s texts, the reader becomes aware that dreams, the unconscious, and art play a key role. This study posits that Ekphrasis and dream interpretation are similar due to both analyzing a visual image and attempting to translate the visual into the verbal in order to gain a better and more complete understanding of it. This book discusses Tieck’s texts—Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen, "Die Gemälde," "Die Freunde," "Die Elfen," "Der Runenberg," "Liebeszauber," and "Das alte Buch und die Reise ins Blaue hinein"—and how Ekphrasis and dream interpretations are essential for gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the visual and dream image, resulting in new readings and insights. Furthermore, this book demonstrates that Tieck made major contributions to Ekphrasis studies by integrating notional, dynamic, and static prose Ekphrasis into his fictional works and thus should play a more important role in the current Ekphrasis debate.
A New Interpretation of the Plays of Henrik Ibsen
The Country of the Blind challenges the reigning conception of Ibsen as social critic. It offers new and unique interpretations stressing his preoccupation with the limitations and failings of humankind that do not change, in particular one’s reluctance or inability to confront unpleasant truths about one’s self and the consequent attempts to conceal those truths from self and from others. The result, in the plays considered, is that his personae are not what they appear to be. We shall observe that Mrs. Alving is not an heroic figure who has sacrificed all for her beloved son; that the "virtuous" parson Manders may in fact be the father of Oswald; that neither Gregers Werle nor Dr. Thomas Stockmann are the idealists they profess to be; that Hedda Gabler and Halvard Solness are the very antitheses of the persons they imagine themselves. This gulf between illusion and actuality is evident even in the case of secondary agents, confirming the supposition that Ibsen believed self-deception inseparable from the human condition. The protagonists’ stratagems necessarily interact, forbidding each knowledge of each and all knowledge of the meaning of external circumstance. They are, and they remain, ignorant of their own nature, and of the character of their closest associates, imprisoned by the maze they have jointly fashioned. The book should be of interest to the general reader, to companies interested in performing the plays analyzed, to Ibsen scholars, and as a text for courses in Ibsen.
From 1890 to 1945, Europe was shaken by political, social, and cultural revolutions brought about by the crisis of modernity. Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud stoked the yearnings of a convulsed era, devastated by the First World War. It was a time when all kinds of alternative and radical models of modernity were erected in pursuit of a new world: from the exasperation of communist and fascist totalitarianism to the frenzy of the artistic avant-gardes and biopolitics.
Hungry for transcendence and tormented by hope, this passionate age also gave rise in Europe to a Catholic revival in literature. Writers such as G. K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, and Graham Greene in England; Charles Péguy, Paul Claudel, and Georges Bernanos in France; and Ramiro de Maeztu and José Bergamín in Spain found that Catholicism was the key to coping with the enigmas and paradoxes of modern man. At the same time, by injecting the political and artistic principles of modernity into the Christian tradition, they transformed a reactionary Catholicism into the paradigm of ultramodernity.
This book explores the intellectual history of a European cultural phenomenon that has thus far been left out of most works of criticism, despite its magnitude. Moreover, it does so through vibrant prose that makes this work of research read like a novel.
Examining Our Past, Shaping Our Future
To mark the fact that the Reimagining Ireland series will soon have one hundred volumes in print, this book brings together a selection of essays from the first fifty volumes, carefully chosen to give a flavour of the diversity and multidisciplinary nature of the series. Following a chronological order, it begins with an essay by Luke Gibbons tracing the roots of modernity from the middle decades of the nineteenth century and concludes with Michael Cronin’s discussion of time and place in global Ireland. In between, the reader will find a rich variety of essays on literary criticism, poetry, drama, photography, modernity, advertising, visual culture, immigration and feminism. This is a collection that will appeal to anyone with a scholarly or personal interest in the cultural forces that have shaped modern Ireland. It is also a testament to the rude good health of contemporary Irish studies, showcasing the work of a talented array of established and emerging scholars currently working in the area.
Essays, Poems, Interviews
Landscapes of Irish and Greek Poets juxtaposes two countries on the margins of Europe that display many affinities: Ireland and Greece. It investigates the ways in which contemporary poetry from both countries engages with external and internal landscapes, bringing together essays by poets and scholars, poems in English and Greek and interviews with the Irish poets Paula Meehan and Theo Dorgan. The topics explored include travel, nature, suburban areas, cultural and political landscapes, the perception of wilderness and the influence of technology in the digital age. Especially relevant at a time of ecological and social crisis, the correlation of external landscapes with the landscapes of the mind, mediated by poetry, offers a powerful insight into the world in which we live.