This book provides a lucid, wide-ranging and up-to-date critical introduction to the writings of Hélène Cixous (1937–). Cixous is often considered ‘difficult’. Moreover she is extraordinarily prolific, having published dozens of books, essays, plays and other texts. Royle avoids any pretence of a comprehensive survey, instead offering a rich and diverse sampling. At once expository and playful, original and funny, this micrological approach enables a new critical understanding and appreciation of Cixous’s writing. If there is complexity in her work, Royle suggests, there is also uncanny simplicity and great pleasure. The book focuses on key motifs such as dreams, the supernatural, literature, psychoanalysis, creative writing, realism, sexual differences, laughter, secrets, the ‘Mother unconscious’, drawing, painting, autobiography as ‘double life writing’, unidentifiable literary objects (ULOs), telephones, non-human animals, telepathy and the ‘art of cutting’. Particular stress is given to Cixous’s work in relation to Sigmund Freud and Jacques Derrida, as well as to her importance in the context of ‘English literature’. There are close readings of Shakespeare, Emily Brontë, P. B. Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Lewis Carroll, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, for example, alongside in-depth explorations of her own writings, from Inside (1969) and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ (1975) up to the present. Royle’s book will be of particular interest to students and academics coming to Cixous’s work for the first time, but it will also appeal to readers interested in contemporary literature, creative writing, life writing, narrative theory, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, ecology, drawing and painting.
Thomas Heywood died in 1641, outliving his contemporary William Shakespeare by a quarter of a century. As the introduction and preceding chapters of this volume have demonstrated, Heywood’s active, cross-generic interest in the classics runs through his long and prolific career, from his earliest publications in the mid-1590s to the end of the 1630s. During that last creative decade, he published Loves Maistresse and 1 and 2 Iron Age ; and he pursued his writing of voluminous compendia with Pleasant Dialogues and Dramma’s , and The Hierarchie of the
identified this as being by Heywood (mentioned in the previous section of this chapter). This creative period is marked by Heywood’s several large compendia, all of which draw on classical, biblical and historical material: Gynaikeion (1624), a collection of ‘Various History Concerninge Women’ organised in nine books, named after each of the Muses; The Hierarchie of The Blessed Angells (1635), a gathering of religious, astrological and allegorical knowledge, narratives and legends, also organised in nine books named after so many angels; and Heywood’s answer to the
As first published in 1579, Spenser’s verbal-visual Shepheardes Calender is a most extraordinary early modern book, and its particular characteristics have major interpretive importance. This present volume freshly reassesses that first edition as a material text in relation to previous book history, and provides the first clearly detailed facsimile reproduction of it available as a book. Almost all previous surrogates for the 1579 Calender, whether disseminated as printed books, in microfilm, or online, as well as the reproductions of its twelve woodcuts typically included in modern editions, lack sufficient clarity to represent the original book reliably. This problem has especially impaired understanding of the Calender’s pictures, each of which was designed to complement one of Spenser’s twelve eclogues. In this way and others, such as the inclusion of a full commentary on the poetry, the 1579 Calender’s total design as a book radically rethought the bibliographical possibilities for presenting imaginative fiction and new poetry. This volume illuminates its antecedents, development, and production, the profound interconnections of its illustrations and poetry, its redefinition of pastoral, its bold redefinition of the proper role of poets and insistence on the national significance of poetic achievement, its daring political satire, and its creative singularity. For many years to come, An Analyzed Facsimile will be essential for study of Spenser’s Calender, this poet, and his importance for English literary history.
sources of the play’s unique intensity and to the peculiar power it has always exercised over audiences. In “ King Lear and the art of forgetting” I propose that forgetting, or the suppression or subversion of memory, is an essential creative principle. I have in mind both really big creative acts like forgetting that the Lear story has a happy ending, and really small but even more baffling creative
Memory has been recognized since ancient times as a basic element of artistic creativity, but I propose here a counter-argument: that forgetting, or the suppression or subversion of memory, is an equally essential creative principle – we memorize in order to forget. My primary example is Shakespeare, but Shakespeare in this can hardly be unique. I have in
persist in the contemporary discourse of institutional work. The abstract to John Holden’s Democratic Culture declares that ‘Culture should be something that we all own and make, not something given, offered or delivered by one section of “us” to another’: an anthropological view of culture, in which institutions promote the shared practices, behaviours and even creative products of their communities
indifferent to his death or his life, except in that the expenditure would help souls. How can any creative act fit into such a bleak scheme? Where in Southwell’s poetry can sense be made of it? There is, however, an informing theory running through his vision of violence and its place in the cosmos, and it is only by understanding that theoretical violence that Jonson’s admiration of ‘The
poem, 9 a sentiment not far removed from Wordsworth’s description of the elegist as a voice Obedient to the strong creative power Of human passion. 10 Whether in the ‘vertuous
of sources, Bullough suggests, ‘often lets us glimpse the creative process in action as he [Shakespeare] took over, remade, rejected, adapted, and added to chosen or given materials ’ (my italics). 8 He leaves open the question of what is ‘given’ and what is ‘chosen’ to be resolved by his own selection and modulation of sources. Paraphrasing Hardin Craig’s interpolation of Croce, he resists the temptation to explain ‘the mystery of his artistic genius’; rather, it will at the very least provide an opportunity to