Wonders, Marvels, and Monsters in Early Modern Culture
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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admiration aesthetic judgment argues argument Aristotelian Aristotle authority beautiful Boaistuau body Bulwer Burke Burke's Cambridge Catholic causes concept critics Critique cultural daidala Daston demonic discourse divine early modern Educating Children effect English Essays European evidence example fact faculty Fiction Gargantua gender giant God's Goulart Greek Hephaestus hermaphrodite Hesiod History Homer human idea Iliad images imagination imitation interpretation John John Donne John Dryden Kant Kant's knowledge language literary London Lorraine Daston Macbeth marvelous medieval metaphor metaphysical Michel de Montaigne mind miracles monsters monstrous Montaigne Montaigne's moral natural philosophy nature Neoplatonic object Oxford painting philosophy physis Pierre Boaistuau Plato poem poet Poetics poetry political preternatural prodigies realm reason Renaissance representation rhetoric royalist says sense seventeenth century Shakespeare sixteenth social sublime supernatural supersensible Tasso Tesauro thauma theory things Thomas tion tradition trans translation University Press vols William Shakespeare wonder writing York