This book analyses three Shakespearean plays that mainly deal with abusive forms of banishment: King Richard II, Coriolanus and King Lear. These plays present with particular clarity the mechanism of the banishment proclamation and its consequences, that is, the dynamic of exclusion and its repercussions. Those repercussions may entail breaking the ban to come back illegally and seek revenge; devising strategies of deviation, such as disguise and change of identity; or resorting to mental subterfuges as a means of refuge. They may also lead to entropy – exhaustion, letting go or heartbreak. Each in its own way, they invite us to reflect upon the complex articulation between banishment and abuse of power, upon the strategies of resistance and displacement employed to shun or endure the painful experience of ‘deterritorialisation’; they put into play the dialectics of allegiance and disobedience, of fearlessly speaking and silencing, of endurance and exhaustion; they question both the legitimacy of power and the limits of human resistance. This study draws on French scholars in Shakespearean studies, and also on contemporary French historians, theorists, anthropologists, psychoanalysts, essayists and philosophers, who can help us read Shakespeare’s plays in our time. It thus takes into account some of the works of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Gaston Bachelard, Marcel Detienne and Jean-Pierre Vernant, Boris Cyrulnik and Emmanuel Housset. The hope is that their respective intellectual approaches will shed specific kinds of light on Shakespeare’s plays and initiate a fruitful dialogue with Anglo-Saxon criticism.
field of the familiar and the endearing, it establishes the
distances from the other and protects from chaos.’ 1 Because territories are
numerous and of various kinds, the notion of deterritorialisation makes it
possible to extend an exclusion that is strictly geographical to a variety
of fields, including mental and metaphorical ones.
Banishment is central to King Richard II , King
Lear and Coriolanus insofar as it
The way banishment and abuse of power are
articulated participates, both upstream and downstream , in a
dialectics of deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation, a dynamic whose
driving force remains a form of transgression: going ‘through’
or ‘beyond’, crossing and counter-crossing frontiers, hence
undergoing a crisis in identity. The banished person is forced to follow a
trajectory entailing various types of
Dante Beyond Influence provides the first systematic inquiry into the formation of the British critical and scholarly discourse on Dante in the late nineteenth century (1865–1921). Overcoming the primacy of literary influence and intertextuality, it instead historicises and conceptualises the hermeneutic turn in British reception history as the product of major transformations in Victorian intellectual, social and publishing history. The volume unpacks the phenomenology of Victorian dantismo through the analysis of five case studies and the material examination of a newly discovered body of manuscript and print sources. Extending over a sixty-year long period, the book retraces the sophistication of the Victorian modes of readerly and writerly engagement with Dantean textuality. It charts its outward expression as a public criticism circulating in prominent nineteenth-century periodicals and elucidates its wider popularisation (and commodification) through Victorian mass-publishing. It ultimately brings forth the mechanism that led to the specialisation of the scholarly discourse and the academisation of Dante studies in traditional and extramural universities. Drawing on the new disciplines of book history and history of reading, the author provides unprecedented insight into the private intellectual life and public work of Christina Rossetti, Matthew Arnold, William E. Gladstone, and introduces a significant cohort of Dante critics, scholars and learned societies hitherto passed unnoticed. As it recaptures a long-neglected moment in Dante’s reception history, this path-breaking book illuminates the wider socio-cultural and economic impact that the Victorian hermeneutic turn had in advancing women’s access to literary and scholarly professions, educational reform and discipline formation.
penalty of death. To banish, therefore, is to initiate a dynamic of departure,
which is a process not only of de-spatialisation, but indeed of
‘deterritorialisation’ in the sense meant by Gilles Deleuze and
Félix Guattari: the one banished is said to be
‘deterritorialised’ because they are forced to renounce all the
marks (material, relational, emotional, imaginary) that transformed a
geographically objective place
the ‘caterpillars of the
commonwealth’ (2.3.166) and the ‘traitors’ (5.3.140)
who later resist him. It comes as no surprise that Bolingbroke’s
re-appropriation should be followed by retaliation and the
deterritorialisation of the king himself.
Richard II’s utter absence of scruples when he
‘wrongfully seize[s] Hereford’s
rights’ (2.1.201) resembles Regan’s and Goneril’s
the emergence of new gothic forms. As many of the chapters in this book
show, gothic has energetically participated in the cultural flows and
deterritorialisations that characterise globalisation. It is no doubt
significant that the majority of the chapters focus upon gothic
representations produced within the first decade of the twenty-first
century. Globalisation literature of the period from around 1980 until
self, in the mental sphere of the
individual, in the imaginary space created by and belonging to the mind, in
the ability intimately to spatialise, and hence subjectively to
territorialise, external realities. This third response participates in a
dialectic of endurance and exhaustion that can result, when the painful
reality of deterritorialisation becomes too intense and prevails over
soothing mental constructs, in
). Lessing’s attempt to make her readers aware of the prison, or group mind, inside which they live can be mapped onto Deleuze and Guattari’s stress on deterritorialisation, or escape from boundaries, whether territorial, national or generic.
Although its disturbing qualities were often noted, The Fifth Child was generally well received. Lessing’s blend of elements of fantasy, horror, fable and fairy-tale within the realist fabric and framework of the text was generally seen as successful and as an explanation for ‘the visceral response the
This chapter addresses the notions of limits, duration and torment. How do we know that the limits of endurance have reached a point of no return? What are the physical and psychic symptoms of exhaustion? Why do ‘tutors of resilience’, as Boris Cyrulnik calls them (such as Cordelia and Edgar in King Lear), fail to intuit these limits? This chapter shows how endurance is closely associated with the experience of duration. When time is experienced as interminable, the one who endures comes to evoke either a dead man before his time or a victim of torture, or even a miraculous survivor. This chapter suggests that, in King Lear, Edgar and Cordelia, and Kent to a lesser extent, serve as ‘tutors of resilience’ for Gloucester and Lear, even if they fail in the end. It suggests that the dynamic of ‘deterritorialisation’ entails a reflection upon the failure of understanding or, at least, the failure to take into account the vulnerability of the human condition.