Poetry, Signs, and Magic (Google eBook)

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University of Delaware Press, Jan 1, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 327 pages
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Poetry, Signs, and Magic brings together in a single volume fourteen new and previously published essays by the eminent Renaissance scholar and literary critic Thomas M. Greene. This collection looks back toward two earlier volumes by Greene, his first essay collection The Vulnerable Text: Essays on Renaissance Literature, and Poesie et Magie, whose theme is here explored again at greater length and depth, from linguistic and literary critical perspectives. Greene argues that certain poetic gestures draw their peculiar strengths by serving as vestiges of poetry's ancestral acts - magic, prayer, and invocation. Poetry, in other words, feigns an earlier power, but in this diminishment there occurs a verbal subtlety, and figural poignancy, commonly associated with art's aesthetic pleasures. Greene employs his well-known skills as a close reader to texts by a range of writers including a variety of contemporary theorists. in diverse contexts the distinction between disjunctive and conjunctive linguistics, dual theories of sound and meaning of crucial importance to Plato and Aristotle, to Catholic and Protestant debates on the sacraments, to the more recent skeptical methodologies of Derrida and de Man. Thomas M. Greene was a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Yale University.
  

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Contents

Language Signs and Magic
29
Poetry as Invocation
43
Rabelais and the Language of Malediction
62
Labyrinth Dances in the French and English Renaissance
76
The Poetics of Discovery A Reading of Donnes Elegy 19
132
Shakespeares Richard II The Name in Bolingbrokes Window
147
Pressures of Context in Antony and Cleopatra
158
Ceremonial Closure in Shakespeares Plays
177
The Balance of Power in Marvells Horatian Ode
206
Coleridge and the Energy of Asking
222
Poetry and the Scattered World
245
Poetry and Permeability
260
Notes
277
Bibliography
308
Index
320
Copyright

Magic and CounterMagic in Comus
189

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About the author (2005)

Thomas M. Greene was a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Yale University, where he taught for nearly five decades.

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