Catalogue


The shattering of the self : violence, subjectivity, and early modern texts /
Cynthia Marshall.
imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c2002.
description
xii, 216 p. : ill.
ISBN
0801867789
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c2002.
isbn
0801867789
catalogue key
4685781
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Cynthia Marshall is a professor of English at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-07-01:
In this interesting study of violence in early modern English drama, Marshall (Rhodes College) sets out to demonstrate how these texts offer their audiences an experience of psychic fracture that results from conflicting yet coexistent perceptions of subjectivity: a union of an older, established sense of individuality and a newer set of forces producing a new, emerging sense of early modern subjectivity. Five chapters bring together examples of violence, often with an erotically charged emphasis, and address questions related to subjectivity and identity. Enriched by conjunctions of psychoanalytic theory and historicist methodologies in relation to the governing issue of "the Renaissance impulse to negate selfhood," the subject matter includes, for example, Petrarch's paradoxical figurative conflations of love and violence, Foxe's Acts and Moments's articulations of the jouissance of martyrology, and Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus's ethics of pornography. Though topically similar to Marshall Grossman's study of subjectivity in Renaissance poetry, The Story of All Things (CH, Mar'99), and Valeria Finucci and Regina Schwartz's edited collection on subjects of desire, Desire in the Renaissance (CH, May'95), this relatively original and provocative study has much to offer. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, scholars, and teachers of early modern literature and contemporary theoretical and cultural studies. C. S. Cox University of Pittsburgh
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Cynthia Marshall's brilliant and challenging book investigates the perverse pleasure catered by some of the most violent texts of the early modern period. At once deploying and strongly taking issue with mainstream New Historicism, Marshall provokes wide-ranging reconsideration of the dynamics of early modern literary production and audience-response." -- Jonathan V. Crewe, Dartmouth College
Scholarly, wonderfully wise, detailed and painful.
"Scholarly, wonderfully wise, detailed and painful." -- Bob J. Barker
In this interesting study of violence in early modern English drama, Marshall sets out to demonstrate how these texts offer their audiences an experience of psychic fracture that results from conflicting yet coexistent perceptions of subjectivity.
"In this interesting study of violence in early modern English drama, Marshall sets out to demonstrate how these texts offer their audiences an experience of psychic fracture that results from conflicting yet coexistent perceptions of subjectivity."-- Choice
Marshall effectively brings to our attention the variety of ways in which late-sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century texts successfully exploited means to debunk the emergent concept of selfhood... An original and stimulating contribution to the field of Renaissance studies, offering insights that go far beyond the boundaries of a specific discipline.
"Marshall effectively brings to our attention the variety of ways in which late-sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century texts successfully exploited means to debunk the emergent concept of selfhood... An original and stimulating contribution to the field of Renaissance studies, offering insights that go far beyond the boundaries of a specific discipline."--Antonella Dalla Torre, Renaissance Quarterly
Marshall leaves her own readers with a rich sense of what it may have meant, and may still mean, to lose oneself in the violent pleasures of Renaissance textuality.
"Marshall leaves her own readers with a rich sense of what it may have meant, and may still mean, to lose oneself in the violent pleasures of Renaissance textuality." -- Patricia A. Cahill, Modern Philology
"Brilliantly employing the insights of Freudian, Lacanian and post-Lacanian psychoanalysis in a series of close textual readings, Marshall demonstrates the early modern self's desire for self-dissolution in the rough textual pleasures of jouissance and connects that desire with contemporary interest in the ethics of pornography and other violent forms of spectatorship. This is a study of major importance to which I will turn again and again." -- Gail Kern Paster, George Washington University, Editor, Shakespeare Quarterly
Cynthia Marshall's brilliant and challenging book investigates the perverse pleasure catered by some of the most violent texts of the early modern period. At once deploying and strongly taking issue with mainstream New Historicism, Marshall provokes wide-ranging reconsideration of the dynamics of early modern literary production and audience-response.
Brilliantly employing the insights of Freudian, Lacanian and post-Lacanian psychoanalysis in a series of close textual readings, Marshall demonstrates the early modern self's desire for self-dissolution in the rough textual pleasures of jouissance and connects that desire with contemporary interest in the ethics of pornography and other violent forms of spectatorship. This is a study of major importance to which I will turn again and again.
Elegant book... the book's reach goes beyond studies of the early modern period.
"Elegant book... the book's reach goes beyond studies of the early modern period." -- Tzachi Zamir, Partial Answers
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2003
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
Main Description
In The Shattering of the Self: Violence, Subjectivity, and Early Modern Texts , Cynthia Marshall reconceptualizes the place and function of violence in Renaissance literature. During the Renaissance an emerging concept of the autonomous self within art, politics, religion, commerce, and other areas existed in tandem with an established, popular sense of the self as fluid, unstable, and volatile. Marshall examines an early modern fascination with erotically charged violence to show how texts of various kinds allowed temporary release from an individualism that was constraining. Scenes such as Gloucester's blinding and Cordelia's death in King Lear or the dismemberment and sexual violence depicted in Titus Andronicus allowed audience members not only a release but a "shattering" -- as opposed to an affirmation -- of the self. Marshall draws upon close readings of Shakespearean plays, Petrarchan sonnets, John Foxe's Acts and Monuments of the Christian Martyrs, and John Ford's The Broken Heart to successfully address questions of subjectivity, psychoanalytic theory, and identity via a cultural response to art. Timely in its offering of an account that is both historically and psychoanalytically informed, The Shattering of the Self argues for a renewed attention to the place of fantasy in this literature and will be of interest to scholars working in Renaissance and early modern studies, literary theory, gender studies, and film theory.
Main Description
In The Shattering of the Self: Violence, Subjectivity, and Early Modern Texts, Cynthia Marshall reconceptualizes the place and function of violence in Renaissance literature. During the Renaissance an emerging concept of the autonomous self within art, politics, religion, commerce, and other areas existed in tandem with an established, popular sense of the self as fluid, unstable, and volatile. Marshall examines an early modern fascination with erotically charged violence to show how texts of various kinds allowed temporary release from an individualism that was constraining. Scenes such as Gloucester's blinding and Cordelia's death in King Lear or the dismemberment and sexual violence depicted in Titus Andronicus allowed audience members not only a release but a "shattering" -- as opposed to an affirmation -- of the self. Marshall draws upon close readings of Shakespearean plays, Petrarchan sonnets, John Foxe's Acts and Monuments of the Christian Martyrs, and John Ford's The Broken Heart to successfully address questions of subjectivity, psychoanalytic theory, and identity via a cultural response to art. Timely in its offering of an account that is both historically and psychoanalytically informed, The Shattering of the Self argues for a renewed attention to the place of fantasy in this literature and will be of interest to scholars working in Renaissance and early modern studies, literary theory, gender studies, and film theory.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Violence, Subjectivity, and Paradoxes of Pleasurep. 13
"To Speak of Love" in the Language of Petrarchanismp. 56
Foxe and the Jouissance of Martyrologyp. 85
The Pornographic Economy of Titus Andronicusp. 106
Form, Characters, Viewers, and Ford's The Broken Heartp. 138
Conclusionp. 159
Notesp. 163
Bibliographyp. 193
Indexp. 209
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem