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New heart and new spirit
Editor: Wickham Clayton

The extreme profitability of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ in 2004 came as a great surprise to the Hollywood establishment, particularly considering its failure to find production funding through a major studio. Since then the biblical epic, long thought dead in terms of widespread marketability, has become a viable product. These screen texts, primarily film and television features adapting stories from both the Old and New Testaments, have seen production both inside and outside of Hollywood. Seeking both profits and critical acclaim, as well as providing outlets for auteurist ‘passion projects’ such as Gibson’s film, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah (2014) and Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), these texts both follow previous biblical epic traditions, as well as appear distinct stylistically and thematically from the biblical epic in its prime. With 2018 seeing the highly publicised release of Mary Magdalene, an attempt at a feminist take on this controversial figure, as well as Gibson’s announcement that he is in production on a follow-up to The Passion of the Christ, there is no clear evidence that the steady production of biblical media will abate anytime soon. Therefore, academic consideration of the modern biblical epic is both timely and highly relevant. With contributions from scholars such as Mikel J. Koven, Andrew B. R. Elliott and Martin Stollery, and a preface from Adele Reinhartz, this collection aims to be a starting point for initiating this discourse.

Spenser and Shakespeare

Thirteen writers have comprehensively explained the Renaissance scheme of physiology-psychology used for nosce teipsum, to ‘know oneself’, and other scholars have analysed key features like humours, bodily spirits, passions, reason, inner wits, soul and spirit, mystic apprehension. Only poets with epic scope, like Spenser and Shakespeare, depict human nature holistically, yet these finest poets have radically distinct psychologies. Spenser’s Christianised Platonism prioritises the soul, his art mirroring divine Creation as dogmatically and encyclopedically conceived. He looks to the past, collating classical and medieval authorities in memory-devices like the figurative house, nobly ordered in triadic mystic numerical hierarchy to reform the ruins of time. Shakespeare’s sophisticated Aristoteleanism prioritises the body, highlighting physical processes and dynamic feelings of immediate experience, and subjecting them to intense, skeptical consciousness. He points to the future, using the witty ironies of popular stage productions to test and deconstruct prior authority, opening the unconscious to psychoanalysis. This polarity of psychologies is radical and profound, resembling the complementary theories of physics, structuring reality either (like Spenser) in the neatly-contained form of particle theory, or (like Shakespeare) in the rhythmic cycles of wave theory. How do we explain these distinct concepts, and how are they related? These poets’ contrary artistry appears in strikingly different versions of a ‘fairy queen’, of humour-based passions (notably the primal passion of self-love), of intellection (divergent modes of temptation and of moral resolution), of immortal soul and spirit, of holistic plot design, and of readiness for final judgment.

Carter’s ambivalent cinematic fiction and the problem of proximity
Marie Mulvey-Roberts

Carter’s ambivalent cinematic fiction 223 11 ‘I resented it, it fascinated me’: Carter’s ambivalent cinematic fiction and the problem of proximity Caleb Sivyer Ambivalence, proximity, cinema A ngela Carter was deeply ambivalent about the cinema, loving its luminous images and larger than life stars, while being highly critical of both its representation of women and its masculine structure of looking. On one side, her passion for the cinema shines through her writings and interviews. Recalling her visits as a young girl to the Granada cinema in Tooting

in The arts of Angela Carter
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Poetic traditions and satiric effects
Peter J. Smith

passion [she] has betrayed’ (l. 58) and accordingly his tombstone should read: ‘Here Cassy lies, by Celia slain, / And dying, never told his pain’ (ll. 77–8). Mystified by the cause of Cassinus’s sorrow, Peter demands ‘by friendship’s sacred laws’ (l.91) that he be told the reasons for his confidant’s melancholy. He recommends an eminently practical medical solution: ‘Dear Cassy, thou must purge and bleed

in Between two stools
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Derek Schilling

-digital French feature (shortly followed by the Gérard Depardieu vehicle Vidocq), a signal achievement in the history of film style, and the capstone of Rohmer’s half-century career. It is fitting that an intimist cinema devoted to the analysis of sentiment should have so aroused critics’ passions, however late in the director’s life course. Political considerations aside, judgements of Rohmer’s work have not

in Eric Rohmer
Patsy Stoneman

chap 9 20/7/06 9:45 am Page 105 9 Cousin Phillis (1863) A tale of lost innocence (Keating, C: 30) Written almost simultaneously with Sylvia’s Lovers, Cousin Phillis seems like a reaction to the intractable problems of evolution, conflict and passion raised in that novel. Evading the problem of aggression, it presents not ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ but ‘man in harmony with nature’. Scarcely more than a short story, it has been called ‘almost perfect’ (Lerner: 16); ‘exquisite’ (Greenwood, ‘Conclusion’: WD: 650); ‘the most perfect story in the language

in Elizabeth Gaskell
The Clash, left melancholia and the politics of redemption
Colin Coulter

LEFT MELANCHOLIA AND THE POLITICS OF REDEMPTION 69 3 ‘Up in heaven (not only here)’: The Clash, left melancholia and the politics of redemption Colin Coulter In his accomplished biography of The Clash, journalist Pat Gilbert seeks to capture that singular, compelling energy so central to the enduring appeal of the band. The ‘word that summed up The Clash’s approach to their art better than any other’, Gilbert asserts, was ‘passion’.1 This particular attribute of the London four-piece was exemplified most dramatically in their legendary stage performances

in Working for the clampdown
Space, limitation and the perception of female selfhood in Samuel Richardson’s Pamela
Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz

. Above all, movement, either as escape into or walking in the garden, whether as a journey from Bedford to Lincolnshire or a ramble with Mr B. in his chariot, prompts an outpouring of passion in Pamela. While the closet, the place of introspection where Richardson’s heroines sit down to write their representations of events, dialogues and feelings, has variously become the object of literary criticism or the history of art and design,15 this article focuses on areas out of doors that give Pamela the opportunity to come out of the ‘shell’16 which encloses her interior

in Writing and constructing the self in Great Britain in the long eighteenth century
Religion, misogyny, myth and the cult
Marie Mulvey-Roberts

stories demystifying the Fall, and another re-evaluating the representation of Mary Magdalene in European art. She also produced an iconoclastic film on the life of Christ through painting called The Holy Family Album (1991) and satirized religious practice from medieval Catholicism in The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972) to that of a modern Messiah in The Passion of New Eve (1977), via a re-imagining of Charles Manson’s infamous sex cult, responsible for the brutal murder of the film actress Sharon Tate, discussed in detail here for the first time

in The arts of Angela Carter
Lynn Anthony Higgins

‘investigative drama,’ constitutes one of Tavernier’s lasting contributions to French cinema. Documentary modes of representation offer solutions to certain formal problems, too. Tavernier’s passion for documentary helps explain – and resolve – his perennial disregard for generic coherence and narrative continuity. In a recent interview, he decries the ‘tyrannies’ of plot and identification, explaining that he likes his heroes to be wrong sometimes, and to behave badly. For example, in L.627 , his policeman protagonist, Lulu (actor

in Bertrand Tavernier