Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 122 items for :

  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Abstract only
Faith, folly, and ‘The Faerie Queene’

Once a byword for Protestant sobriety and moral idealism, Spenser is now better known for his irony and elusiveness. Yet his sense of humour is still underestimated and misunderstood. Challenging the bias behind this neglect, this study shows that humour, far from being peripheral or superficial, goes to the heart of Spenser’s moral and doctrinal preoccupations. It explores rifts between The Faerie Queene’s ambitious and idealising postures and its Protestant vision of corruptible human nature. Figures to be comically ‘undone’ include the hero, the chivalric lover, the virgin, and the ideal monarch – as well as Spenser’s own epic-poet persona. Yet bathos has a positive significance in Christian theology, and Spenserian humour proves to be an expression of tolerance and faith as well as an instrument of satire. On this basis, Comic Spenser contends that the alliance of humour and allegory in The Faerie Queene affirms the value of the creative and ‘errant’ imagination.

Naomi Booth

of innovation and transformation, but also risks repetition, bathos and cliché. Finally, I consider a transformative faint in Angela Carter's retelling of the necrophilic fairy tale of Bluebeard, ‘The Bloody Chamber’ ( 1979 ) – a faint which pivots the story from recapitulation to reinvention. Queer, stimulating, romance swoons In an afterword to her groundbreaking novel, Carol , 1 Patricia Highsmith describes her inspiration for writing the text as the experience of a near

in Swoon
Abstract only
Victoria Coldham-Fussell

that have been associated with comic recognition since classical times – in other words, principles that serve to link rather than differentiate the three relatively modern ‘schools’ of thought. These I summarise as: ‘reduction’, ‘ambiguity’, and ‘play’. 14 At a glance, each of these principles is also a comic technique. ‘Reduction’, that is, may be exemplified by bathos, error, rudeness, and social inferiority. For the most part, these are things observed – in contrast to two of the traditional theoretical schools, ‘superiority’ and ‘relief’, which are things

in Comic Spenser
Abstract only
Victoria Coldham-Fussell

pestered by a fly. 46 Quite possibly, heroism is being not only punctured in the Spenserian context, but also redefined: error ought to be ‘brushed off’ rather than violently attacked. Perhaps, too, there is a suggestion that the shepherd who is preoccupied with gnats is in danger of losing sight of his flock. From these alternative, unflattering perspectives, the bathos of the rustic analogy is telling, and offers an ironically timed reminder of Red Crosse’s origins (‘with his clownish hands their tender wings / He brusheth oft’; my italics). At the same time, the

in Comic Spenser
Abstract only
A poetics of passing out
Author:

This is the first extensive study of literary swooning, homing in on the swoon’s long, rich and suggestive history as well as its potential for opening up new ways of thinking about the contemporary. From the lives of medieval saints to recent romance fiction, the swoon has had a pivotal place in English literature. This study shows that swoons have been intimately connected to explorations of emotionality, ecstasy and transformation; to depictions of sickness and of dying; and to performances of gender and gendering. A literary history of swooning is therefore also a history of crux points for how we imagine the body, and for evolving ideas of physiology, gender, and sexuality. Tracking the history of the figure of the swoon from the thirteenth to the twenty-first century, this study suggests that the swoon has long been used as a way to figure literary creation and aesthetic sensitivity: from the swoons of early mystics to contemporary literary-theoretical depictions of destabilised subjects, literary faints have offered a model of overwhelming, aesthetic, affective response. In the work of Chaucer and Shakespeare, swoons are seen as moments of generic possibility, through which the direction of a text might be transformed. In romantic, gothic and modernist fiction, this study focuses on morbid, feminised swoons used by writers who reject masculinist, heteronormative codes of health. In contemporary romance fiction, irony, cliché and bathos shadow the transformative possibilities of the swoon. This book offers an exciting new way to examine the history of the body alongside the history of literary response.

Richard J. Hand

Fear but also the macabre self-parodist on The Goon Show , the commanding words undercut with bathos, taking us from the horror of war to the absurdly comic (‘The Man in Black’ becomes ‘A Lady in a Hat’) in a few lines. Horror Drama in the 1950s: single plays and Uncanny Stories Aside from comedy, ‘straight’ horror radio would continue after the

in Listen in terror
Abstract only
A poetics of passing out
Naomi Booth

-health. Feminine swooning has been made to function in different ways in relation to romance in works by female writers in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries: we might see Highsmith's swoons as part of a strategy of innovation and transformation, but feminine romance swooning also risks repetition, bathos and cliché. In contrast to Highsmith's work, I read E. L. James's depictions of feminine sinking in the Fifty Shades of Grey ( 2012 ) novels alongside Alexander Pope's Peri Bathous, or the Art of Sinking in Poetry ( 1728 ) to argue that the sinking James depicts

in Swoon
Ruin paintings and architectural fantasies
Hélène Ibata

it; and the barely noticeable Lady of the Lake, the sorceress who murdered Merlin to steal his powers, entering through a distant door on the left. These uncanny narrative elements would have been considered beyond the reach of painting by Burke. And yet, by blending them into an atmospheric fantasy in which they are barely discernible, by fusing them into the uncanny lighting or profuse ornamentation of the chamber, Gandy seeks visual strategies to transcribe the poetic original without falling into bathos. The mysterious setting itself, not epic action or

in The challenge of the sublime
Abstract only
The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy (1983)
Jeffrey Wainwright

act, and as such stands as a commitment in regard to the things to which the words refer: ‘Accuracy and morality alike are on the side of the plain saying that our world is our bond ’ ( Words p. 10). Thus, when Péguy begins with the grim and nearly satiric evocation of the murder of Jean Jaurès amid the bathos of his café supper, the event gives rise to speculation about the part played in the assassination by Péguy’s rhetorical attacks upon Jaurès’s pacifism. We have a clarification of the issues, a philosopher’s crisp identification of questions

in Acceptable words
Tom Kew

story in one of its many shopping centres. This accords with my research on Sue Townsend in the East Midlands. Townsend used the anonymous Midlands suburbs to add humorous bathos to Mole's stories and O’Flynn, too, is aware of the power of the Midlands symbolism, even when it symbolises nothingness or ‘non-place’. Green Oaks is the monolithic centre of O’Flynn's debut novel. We are informed that ‘the centre was built at a time when the idea of turning a shopping centre into some larger leisure experience was just beginning to gain currency in Europe’ ( WWL , 89). This

in The multicultural Midlands