No Island is an Island: Four Glances at English Literature in a World Perspective

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Columbia University Press, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 121 pages
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In No Island Is an Island an internationally renowned historian approaches four works of English literature from unexpected angles. Following in the footsteps of a sixteenth-century Spanish bishop we gain a fresh view of Thomas More's Utopia. Comparing Bayle's Dictionary with Tristram Shandy we suddenly enter into Laurence Sterne's mind. A seemingly narrow dispute among Elizabethan critics for and against rhyme turns into an early debate on English national identity. Robert Louis Stevenson's story "The Bottle Imp" throws a new light on Bronislaw Malinowsky's attempts to discover meaning in the "kula" trading system among the Trobriand Islanders. Throughout, Ginzburg's inquiry is informed by his unique microhistorical sensibility, his attention to minute detail, and his extraordinary synthesizing imagination.


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No island is an island: four glances at English literature in a world perspective

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Ginzburg, an Italian Renaissance historian, here turns his attention to representative works from various stages in English literature. He studies Thomas More's Utopia, Elizabethan poetry, Laurence ... Read full review


chapter one The Old World and the New Seen from Nowhere
Rereading Tristram Shandy
chapter four Tusitala and His Polish Reader

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About the author (2000)

Carlo Ginzburg's work has been published in eighteen languages. He teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is the Franklin D. Murphy Chair of Italian Renaissance Studies. His books in English include The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller, The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, and Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches'Sabbath.

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