Catalogue


Faultlines : cultural materialism and the politics of dissident reading /
Alan Sinfield.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1992.
description
xi, 365 p. : ill.
ISBN
0520076060 (alk. paper) 0520076079 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1992.
isbn
0520076060 (alk. paper) 0520076079 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
3412325
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"A coherent and compelling politics of reading. . . . Sinfield is intervening in a cultural debate not merely about the meaning of the texts he considers but about the very nature of literary study itself. Though his reading of central Renaissance texts such as Sidney'sDefence, Marlowe'sTamburlaine, Shakespeare'sOthello, and Donne's lyrics are wonderfully agile and alert, the true stakes of his argument are the protocols of the institutions in which we read and study literature."--David Scott Kastan, author ofShakespeare and the Shapes of Time "This is an important and urgently needed contribution to the field of culture criticism both in the U. K. and in the U.S.A. Until fairly recently, culture criticism on both sides of the Atlantic has been dominated by the cultural apparatus of the New Right. Sinfield's energetic and courageous intervention helps to break the silence of dissident communities and it is therefore a welcome rejoinder to the neo-conservative chorus."--Michael D. Bristol, author ofShakespeare's America, America's Shakespeare
Flap Copy
"A coherent and compelling politics of reading. . . . Sinfield is intervening in a cultural debate not merely about the meaning of the texts he considers but about the very nature of literary study itself. Though his reading of central Renaissance texts such as Sidney's Defence, Marlowe's Tamburlaine, Shakespeare's Othello, and Donne's lyrics are wonderfully agile and alert, the true stakes of his argument are the protocols of the institutions in which we read and study literature."--David Scott Kastan, author of Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time "This is an important and urgently needed contribution to the field of culture criticism both in the U. K. and in the U.S.A. Until fairly recently, culture criticism on both sides of the Atlantic has been dominated by the cultural apparatus of the New Right. Sinfield's energetic and courageous intervention helps to break the silence of dissident communities and it is therefore a welcome rejoinder to the neo-conservative chorus."--Michael D. Bristol, author of Shakespeare's America, America's Shakespeare
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-02:
The key question informing this book is more political than literary in its implications: "If we come to consciousness within a language that is continuous with the power structures that sustain the social order, how can we conceive, let alone organize, resistance?" The author's answers in literary terms are drawn from examples in early modern England, including Shakespeare, Sidney, and Marlowe. He presents these answers, however, from the stance of cultural materialism, which "seeks to discern the scope for dissident politics of class, race, gender, and sexual orientation, both within texts and in their roles in cultures." Sinfield frequently makes worthwhile and interesting comments about individual plays, among them Julius Caesar, Othello, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Henry V, and The Merchant of Venice. Along the way, however, the reader must endure frequent references to British and American imperialism and the supposed furthering of political aims through the use of culture. Whether the journey through the author's assumptions and assertions is worth it in the end must be decided by the individual. R. E. Burkhart; Eastern Kentucky University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 1993
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
If we come to consciousness within a language that is complicit with the social order, how can we conceive, let alone organize, resistance to that social order? This key question in the politics of reading and subcultural practice informs Alan Sinfield's book on writing in early-modern England.New historicism has often shown people trapped in a web of language and culture. In lively discussions of writings by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Sidney, and Donne, Sinfield reassesses the scope of dissidence and control. The early-modern state, Christianity, and the cultural apparatus, despite an ideology of unity and explicit violence, could not but allow space to challenging voices. Sinfield shows that disruptions in concepts of hierarchy, nationality, gender, and sexuality force their way into literary texts.Sinfield is often provocative. He "rewrites" "Julius Caesar to produce a different politics, compares Sidney's idea of poetry to Leonid Brezhnev's, and reinstates the concept of character in the face of post-structuralist theory. He keeps the current politics of literary study in view, especially in a substantial chapter on Shakespeare in the U.S. Sinfield subjects interactions between class, ethnicity, sexuality, and the professional structures of the humanities to a detailed and hard-hitting critique, and argues for new commitments to collectivities and subcultures.
Long Description
If we come to consciousness within a language that is complicit with the social order, how can we conceive, let alone organize, resistance? This key question in the politics of reading and subcultural practice informs Alan Sinfield's book on writing in early-modern England. New historicism has often shown people trapped in a web of language and culture; through agile and well informed discussions of writing by Shakespeare, Sidney, Donne, and Marlowe, Sinfield reassesses the scope of dissidence and control. The early-modern state, Christianity, and the cultural apparatus, despite an ideology of unity and explicit violence, could not but allow space to challenging voices. Disruptions in concepts of hierarchy, nationality, gender and sexuality force their way into literary texts. Sinfield is often provocative. He 'rewrites' Julius Caesar to produce a different politics, compares Sidney's idea of poetry to Leonid Brezhnev's, and reinstates the concept of character in the face of post-structuralist theory. He keeps the current politics of literary study always in view, especially in a substantial chapter on Shakespeare in the United States. Sinfield subjects interactions between class, ethnicity, sexuality and the professional structures of the humanities to a detailed and hard-hitting critique, and argues for new commitments to collectivities and subcultures. This is a controversial, lucid, informed, and timely book by a leading exponent of cultural materialism.
Main Description
If we come to consciousness within a language that is complicit with the social order, how can we conceive, let alone organize, resistance to that social order? This key question in the politics of reading and subcultural practice informs Alan Sinfield's book on writing in early-modern England. New historicism has often shown people trapped in a web of language and culture. In lively discussions of writings by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Sidney, and Donne, Sinfield reassesses the scope of dissidence and control. The early-modern state, Christianity, and the cultural apparatus, despite an ideology of unity and explicit violence, could not but allow space to challenging voices. Sinfield shows that disruptions in concepts of hierarchy, nationality, gender, and sexuality force their way into literary texts. Sinfield is often provocative. He "rewrites"Julius Caesarto produce a different politics, compares Sidney's idea of poetry to Leonid Brezhnev's, and reinstates the concept of character in the face of post-structuralist theory. He keeps the current politics of literary study in view, especially in a substantial chapter on Shakespeare in the U.S. Sinfield subjects interactions between class, ethnicity, sexuality, and the professional structures of the humanities to a detailed and hard-hitting critique, and argues for new commitments to collectivities and subcultures.
Main Description
If we come to consciousness within a language that is complicit with the social order, how can we conceive, let alone organize, resistance to that social order? This key question in the politics of reading and subcultural practice informs Alan Sinfield's book on writing in early-modern England. New historicism has often shown people trapped in a web of language and culture. In lively discussions of writings by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Sidney, and Donne, Sinfield reassesses the scope of dissidence and control. The early-modern state, Christianity, and the cultural apparatus, despite an ideology of unity and explicit violence, could not but allow space to challenging voices. Sinfield shows that disruptions in concepts of hierarchy, nationality, gender, and sexuality force their way into literary texts. Sinfield is often provocative. He "rewrites" Julius Caesarto produce a different politics, compares Sidney's idea of poetry to Leonid Brezhnev's, and reinstates the concept of character in the face of post-structuralist theory. He keeps the current politics of literary study in view, especially in a substantial chapter on Shakespeare in the U.S. Sinfield subjects interactions between class, ethnicity, sexuality, and the professional structures of the humanities to a detailed and hard-hitting critique, and argues for new commitments to collectivities and subcultures.
Table of Contents
Illustrations
Preface
Theaters of War: Caesar and the Vandalsp. 1
Cultural Materialism, Othello, and the Politics of Plausibilityp. 29
When Is a Character Not a Character? Desdemona, Olivia, Lady Macbeth, and Subjectivityp. 52
Power and Ideology: An Outline Theory and Sidney's Arcadiap. 80
Macbeth: History, Ideology, and Intellectualsp. 95
History and Ideology, Masculinity and Miscegenation: The Instance of Henry Vp. 109
Protestantism: Questions of Subjectivity and Controlp. 143
Sidney's Defence and the Collective-Farm Chairman: Puritan Humanism and the Cultural Apparatusp. 181
Tragedy, God, and Writing: Hamlet, Faustus, Tamburlainep. 214
Cultural Imperialism and the Primal Scene of U.S. Manp. 254
Notesp. 303
Indexp. 353
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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