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Old Challenges and New Horizons in English and American Studies

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Edited By Anna Walczuk and Wladyslaw Witalisz

The volume is a collection of essays representative of the wide focus of research encouraged and coordinated by the Polish Association for the Study of English (member of ESSE). Articles selected for the volume deal with works of poetry, drama and prose written in English and invite the reader to view them in the context of intercultural and intertextual discourse. Authors discussed in the articles include: John Redford, William Shakespeare, John Dryden, James Macpherson, John Clare, Anna Radcliffe, Horace Walpole, George Gordon Byron, Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, T.F. Powys, Patrick White, Brian Friel, Brendan Behan, Philip Roth, Alice Walker, Chaim Potok, Ian McEwan, Kiran Desai, and Sarah Kane. In many of the essays the reader will notice a meta-discursive argument on the interplay between tradition and innovation in English studies.
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Love and Knowledge: On Eroticising the Moral Message in John Redford’s Wit and Science.

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Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun

Wyższa Szkoła Finansów i Zarządzania w Białymstoku

Wit and Science, usually categorised as the so-called educational interlude and dated broadly between 1539 and 1547 (Mills 2007:163), was written by John Redford, the master of the choir boys at St. Paul’s. No wonder then that the play composed for the performance by well-skilled young actors dramatises a humanist argument about the value of education, and its apparently straightforward message is that any student who wants to be successful must proceed at a measured pace and acquire knowledge step by step not to be overpowered with the sheer mass of its complexities. The message itself, however, seems to be of less interest than the way Redford employs a number of structural devices that include a well-tested formula of the morality play mixed with the prodigal son paradigm and a chivalric quest, coloured with the motifs of courtly love and marriage, and finally spiced up with a few songs and dances. The accumulation of all these might, at first glance at least, appear somewhat incoherent but, in fact, it does not result in chaos. On the contrary, all these structural elements are used on purpose, and yet with considerable humour, to resonate with one another and to build up a coherent metaphor that pertains to learning. What is particularly interesting about the interlude is in what manner and for what purposes Redford employs the theme of love and marriage,...

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