Author: Roger D. Lund
Release Date: 2016-03-23
Genre: Literary Criticism
Arguing for the importance of wit beyond its use as a literary device, Roger D. Lund outlines the process by which writers in Restoration and eighteenth-century England struggled to define an appropriate role for wit in the public sphere. He traces its unpredictable effects in works of philosophy, religious pamphlets, and legal writing and examines what happens when literary wit is deliberately used to undermine the judgment of individuals and to destabilize established institutions of church and state. Beginning with a discussion of wit's association with deception, Lund suggests that suspicion of wit and the imagination emerges in attacks on the Restoration stage, in the persecution of The Craftsman, and in criticism directed at Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan and works by writers like the Earl of Shaftesbury, Thomas Woolston, and Thomas Paine. Anxieties about wit, Lund shows, were in part responsible for attempts to suppress new communal venues such as coffee houses and clubs and for the Church's condemnation of the seditious pamphlets made possible by the lapse of the Licensing Act in 1695. Finally, the establishment's conviction that wit, ridicule, satire, and innuendo are subversive rhetorical forms is glaringly at play in attempts to use libel trials to translate the fear of wit as a metaphorical transgression of public decorum into an actual violation of the civil code.
Using printed and manuscript texts composed between 1575 and 1672, Jennifer Heller defines the genre of the mother's legacy as a distinct branch of the advice tradition in early modern England that takes the form of a dying mother's pious counsel to her children. Reading these texts in light of specific cultural contexts, social trends, and historical events, Heller explores how legacy writers used the genre to secure personal and family status, to shape their children's beliefs and behaviors, and to intervene in the period's tumultuous religious and political debates. The author's attention to the fine details of the period's religious and political swings, drawn from sources such as royal proclamations, sermons, and first-hand accounts of book-burnings, creates a fuller context for her analysis of the legacies. Similarly, Heller explains the appeal of the genre by connecting it to social factors including mortality rates and inheritance practices. Analyses of related genres, such as conduct books and fathers' legacies, highlight the unique features and functions of mothers' legacies. Heller also attends to the personal side of the genre, demonstrating that a writer's education, marriages, children, and turns of fortune affect her work within the genre.
Author: Christopher Hitchens
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Release Date: 2008-11-19
Genre: Social Science
Christopher Hitchens, described in the London Observer as “one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time” takes on his biggest subject yet–the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world. In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End Of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope’s awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Darryl P. Domingo
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2016-03-29
Genre: Literary Criticism
Why did eighteenth-century writers employ digression as a literary form of diversion, and how did their readers come to enjoy linguistic and textual devices that self-consciously disrupt the reading experience? Darryl P. Domingo answers these questions through an examination of the formative period in the commercialization of leisure in England, and the coincidental coming of age of literary self-consciousness in works published between approximately 1690 and 1760. During this period, commercial entertainers tested out new ways of gratifying a public increasingly eager for amusement, while professional writers explored the rhetorical possibilities of intrusion, obstruction, and interruption through their characteristic use of devices like digression. Such devices adopt similar forms and fulfil similar functions in literature as do diversions in culture: they 'unbend the mind' and reveal the complex reciprocity between commercialized leisure and commercial literature in the age of Swift, Pope, and Fielding.
Author: Philip Smallwood
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Release Date: 2014-09-16
Genre: Literary Criticism
Ridiculous Critics offers an outline of eighteenth-century literary criticism that undermines its stuffy reputation. This history highlights the contempt, jocularity, irony, and buffoonery that also make up its critical spirit, with passages from critics, poets, novelists, and literary commentators celebrated and obscure.
DIVVoltaire's brilliant satire on the follies of man, in the original French, with a new and exacting English translation on the opposing page. Weller's critical introduction illuminates the satire's enduring appeal. /div
Author: Mary Helen McMurran
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Release Date: 2016-04-06
Genre: Literary Criticism
Mind, Body, Motion, Matter investigates the relationship between the eighteenth century’s two predominant approaches to the natural world – mechanistic materialism and vitalism – in the works of leading British and French writers such as Daniel Defoe, William Hogarth, Laurence Sterne, the third Earl of Shaftesbury and Denis Diderot. Focusing on embodied experience and the materialization of thought in poetry, novels, art, and religion, the literary scholars in this collection offer new and intriguing readings of these canonical authors. Informed by contemporary currents such as new materialism, cognitive studies, media theory, and post-secularism, their essays demonstrate the volatility of the core ideas opened up by materialism and the possibilities of an aesthetic vitalism of form.
Author: Terry Lindvall
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2015-11-13
Winner of the 2016 Religious Communication Association Book of the Year Award In God Mocks, Terry Lindvall ventures into the muddy and dangerous realm of religious satire, chronicling its evolution from the biblical wit and humor of the Hebrew prophets through the Roman Era and the Middle Ages all the way up to the present. He takes the reader on a journey through the work of Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales, Cervantes, Jonathan Swift, and Mark Twain, and ending with the mediated entertainment of modern wags like Stephen Colbert. Lindvall finds that there is a method to the madness of these mockers: true satire, he argues, is at its heart moral outrage expressed in laughter. But there are remarkable differences in how these religious satirists express their outrage.The changing costumes of religious satirists fit their times. The earthy coarse language of Martin Luther and Sir Thomas More during the carnival spirit of the late medieval period was refined with the enlightened wit of Alexander Pope. The sacrilege of Monty Python does not translate well to the ironic voices of Soren Kierkegaard. The religious satirist does not even need to be part of the community of faith. All he needs is an eye and ear for the folly and chicanery of religious poseurs. To follow the paths of the satirist, writes Lindvall, is to encounter the odd and peculiar treasures who are God’s mouthpieces. In God Mocks, he offers an engaging look at their religious use of humor toward moral ends.
Author: Brian Corman
Publisher: Broadview Press
Release Date: 2013-01-21
The ten plays in this new collection show both the continuity and the changes in comedy over the course of the Restoration and eighteenth century. Each play includes its original prologue and epilogue, as well as an historical introduction and full annotation. The editor’s Introduction provides a rich historical and literary context for the plays’ composition and production. A glossary of frequently used words likely to be unfamiliar to general readers is also included.
Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,7, University of Trier, course: Alexander Pope, language: English, abstract: “Pope is the standout poet of the eighteenth century. A master of form and register, a maestro of metre, and a doyden of wit, Pope will remain among the most read and most imitated writers in the English language” (Budge 2009, 54.) Alexander Pope is often referred to as one of the greatest critics of all times. He is a great author and his poems are commonly known in the world of Literature. His satirical style is brilliant and exemplified in many of his poems. In the following, I am going to analyze the Augustan poem “The Rape of the Lock”, specifically in terms of its satirical elements. Therefore, I want to start with a look at a few definitions of the Satire. Next, I will go into more detail by defining the Augustan Satire as a subgenre of Satire. After validating these two term’s definitions, there will be the actual analysis. Due to limitations of space, however, I cannot consider all of the satirical elements of the poem, and have decided to put my main focus on the role of Belinda.
Author: Jason P. Davies
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2007-12-03
This book explores the way in which three ancient historians, writing in Latin, embedded the gods into their accounts of the past. Although previous scholarship has generally portrayed these writers as somewhat dismissive of traditional Roman religion, it is argued here that Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus saw themselves as being very close to the centre of those traditions. The gods are presented as a potent historical force, and a close reading of the historians' texts easily bears out this conclusion. Their treatment of the gods is not limited to portraying the role and power of the divine in the unfolding of the past: equally prominent is the negotiation with the reader concerning what constituted a 'proper' religious system. Priests and other religious experts function as an index of the decline (or restoration) of Rome and each writer formulates a sophisticated position on the practical and social aspects of Roman religion.
Author: Aloys Winterling
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2015-09-15
The infamous emperor Caligula ruled Rome from A.D. 37 to 41 as a tyrant who ultimately became a monster. An exceptionally smart and cruelly witty man, Caligula made his contemporaries worship him as a god. He drank pearls dissolved in vinegar and ate food covered in gold leaf. He forced men and women of high rank to have sex with him, turned part of his palace into a brothel, and committed incest with his sisters. He wanted to make his horse a consul. Torture and executions were the order of the day. Both modern and ancient interpretations have concluded from this alleged evidence that Caligula was insane. But was he? This biography tells a different story of the well-known emperor. In a deft account written for a general audience, Aloys Winterling opens a new perspective on the man and his times. Basing Caligula on a thorough new assessment of the ancient sources, he sets the emperor's story into the context of the political system and the changing relations between the senate and the emperor during Caligula's time and finds a new rationality explaining his notorious brutality.