Catalogue


Archaeologies of English Renaissance literature /
Philip Schwyzer.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007.
description
viii, 227 p. : ill.
ISBN
0199206600 (alk. paper), 9780199206605 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007.
isbn
0199206600 (alk. paper)
9780199206605 (alk. paper)
contents note
Intimate disciplines : archaeology, literary criticism, and the traces of the dead -- Exhumation and ethnic conflict : colonial archaeology from St Erkenwald to Spenser in Ireland -- Dissolving images : monastic ruins in Elizabethan poetry -- Charnel knowledge open graves in Shakespeare and Donne -- "Mummy is become merchandise" : cannibals and commodities in the seventeenth century -- Readers of the lost urns : desire and disintegration in Thomas Browne's urn-burial.
catalogue key
6113407
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"In his treatment of Shakespeare, Schwyzer examines literature that many of us have read, pondered, and taught, and he makes it feel new through the application of his cultural knowledge. When he discusses Titus, Romeo, and Hamelt, his argument about the commonality of literature and archaeology takes palpable form and force. His view of these plays, especially their treatment of death, is a revelation."--Frederick Kiefer, Renaissance Quarterly
"In his treatment of Shakespeare, Schwyzer examines literature that many of us have read, pondered, and taught, and he makes it feel new through the application of his cultural knowledge. When he discussesTitus, Romeo,andHamelt,his argument about the commonality of literature and archaeology takes palpable form and force. His view of these plays, especially their treatment of death, is a revelation."--Frederick Kiefer,Renaissance Quarterly
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Early modern English literature abounds with archaeological images, from open graves to ruined monasteries. Showing that archaeology can shed light on literary texts, including works by Shakespeare and Donne, the book explores the kinship between two disciplines distinguished by their intimacy with traces of past life.
Long Description
This study draws on the theory and practice of archaeology to develop a new perspective on the literature of the Renaissance. Philip Schwyzer explores the fascination with images of excavation, exhumation, and ruin that runs through literary texts including Spenser's Faerie Queene, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, Donne's sermons and lyrics, and Thomas Browne's Hydriotaphia, or Urne-Buriall. Miraculously preserved corpses, ruined monasteries, Egyptian mummies, and Yorick's skull all figure in this study of the early modern archaeological imagination. The pessimism of the period is summed up in the haunting motif of the beautiful corpse that, once touched, crumbles to dust. Archaeology and literary studies are themselves products of the Renaissance. Although the two disciplines have sometimes viewed one another as rivals, they share a unique and unsettling intimacy with the traces of past life--with the words the dead wrote, sang, or heard, with the objects they made, held, or lived within. Schwyzer argues that at the root of both forms of scholarship lies the forbidden desire to awaken (and speak with) the dead. However impossible or absurd this desire may be, it remains a fundamental source of both ethical responsibility and aesthetic pleasure.
Main Description
This study draws on the theory and practice of archaeology to develop a new perspective on the literature of the Renaissance. Philip Schwyzer explores the fascination with images of excavation, exhumation, and ruin that runs through literary texts including Spenser's Faerie Queene, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, Donne's sermons and lyrics, and Thomas Browne's Hydriotaphia, or Urne-Buriall. Miraculously preserved corpses, ruined monasteries, Egyptian mummies, and Yorick's skull all figure in this study of the early modern archaeological imagination. The pessimism of the period is summed up in the haunting motif of the beautiful corpse that, once touched, crumbles to dust. Archaeology and literary studies are themselves products of the Renaissance. Although the two disciplines have sometimes viewed one another as rivals, they share a unique and unsettling intimacy with the traces of past life - with the words the dead wrote, sang, or heard, with the objects they made, held, or lived within. Schwyzer argues that at the root of both forms of scholarship lies the forbidden desire to awaken (and speak with) the dead. However impossible or absurd this desire may be, it remains a fundamental source of both ethical responsibility and aesthetic pleasure.
Main Description
This study draws on the theory and practice of archaeology to develop a new perspective on the literature of the Renaissance. Philip Schwyzer explores the fascination with images of excavation, exhumation, and ruin that runs through literary texts including Spenser's Faerie Queene,Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, Donne's sermons and lyrics, and Thomas Browne's Hydriotaphia, or Urne-Buriall. Miraculously preserved corpses, ruined monasteries, Egyptian mummies, and Yorick's skull all figure in this study of the early modern archaeological imagination. The pessimism ofthe period is summed up in the haunting motif of the beautiful corpse that, once touched, crumbles to dust. Archaeology and literary studies are themselves products of the Renaissance. Although the two disciplines have sometimes viewed one another as rivals, they share a unique and unsettling intimacy with the traces of past life - with the words the dead wrote, sang, or heard, with the objects they made,held, or lived within. Schwyzer argues that at the root of both forms of scholarship lies the forbidden desire to awaken (and speak with) the dead. However impossible or absurd this desire may be, it remains a fundamental source of both ethical responsibility and aesthetic pleasure.
Table of Contents
Introduction
Intimate Disciplines: Archaeology, Literary Criticism, and the Traces of the Dead
Exhumation and Ethnic Conflict: Colonial Archaeology From iSt. Erkenwald/i to Spenser in Ireland
Dissolving Images: Monastic Ruins in Elizabethan Poetry
Charnel Knowledge: Open Graves in Shakespeare and Donne
'Mummy Is Become Merchandise': Cannibals and Commodities in the Seventeenth Century
Readers of the Lost Urns: Desire and Disintegration in Thomas Browne's iUrn-Burial/i
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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