Wonders, Marvels, and Monsters in Early Modern Culture

Front Cover
Peter G. Platt
University of Delaware Press, 1999 - History - 341 pages
The essays in this collection reveal a variety of discursive practices of the marvelous: art theory, natural history, travel literature, religious polemics, literary flyting, proto-medical narratives, wonder books, political theory, personal essays, drama, theology, jermiad verse, philosophy, and "metaphysical" poetry. They also establish the variety of uses to which the marvelous could be summoned. One fundamental fissure seems to run throughout the period's depiction of the wonderful that paradoxically helps unify our understanding of the concept: there existed a marvelous that ultimately had to be contained and a marvelous that inevitably liberated--often within the same text. If the urge to control the marvelous is great--if the supernatural is always threatened with naturalization--it is the power of the marvelous that necessitates such a response. For the marvelous and the monstrous are almost always in danger of eluding mastery and classification. Yet it is this very intractability that can force of facilitate a recharting--of the map of artistic possibility, of the body, of the known world, of human potential. In the spirit of this figure that ever seeks to unsettle, this volume continues the ongoing reconfiguration of our view of wonder, the marvelous, and the monstrous in the early modern period. --From publisher's description.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
9
Introduction
15
The Wondrous Work
24
On Wonder Imitation and Mechanism
45
Marvelous Facts and Miraculous Evidence in Early Modern
76
Introduction to Marvelous Possessions
105
Rabelaisian NonWonders and Renaissance Polemics
133
Early Modern Scientific Accounts
145
John Bulwer and
187
The Limits
205
Macbeth and the Marvelous
229
The Politics of Jeremiad
251
Beyond the Renaissance Reconfiguring
269
Wit the Sublime and the Rise
294
List of Contributors
328
Copyright

Who Says Miracles Are Past? Some Jacobean Marvels
164

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About the author (1999)

Peter Platt is an assistant professor of English at Barnard College. This is his first book.

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