Front cover image for Wonders, marvels, and monsters in early modern culture

Wonders, marvels, and monsters in early modern culture

The essays in this collection reveal a variety of discursive practices of the marvelous: art theory, natural history, travel literature, religious polemics, literary flyting, proto-medical narratives, wonder books, political theory, personal essays, drama, theology, jermiad verse, philosophy, and "metaphysical" poetry. They also establish the variety of uses to which the marvelous could be summoned. One fundamental fissure seems to run throughout the period's depiction of the wonderful that paradoxically helps unify our understanding of the concept: there existed a marvelous that ultimately had to be contained and a marvelous that inevitably liberated--often within the same text. If the urge to control the marvelous is great--if the supernatural is always threatened with naturalization--it is the power of the marvelous that necessitates such a response. For the marvelous and the monstrous are almost always in danger of eluding mastery and classification. Yet it is this very intractability that can force of facilitate a recharting--of the map of artistic possibility, of the body, of the known world, of human potential. In the spirit of this figure that ever seeks to unsettle, this volume continues the ongoing reconfiguration of our view of wonder, the marvelous, and the monstrous in the early modern period. --From publisher's description
Print Book, English, 1999
University of Delaware Press ; Associated University Presses, Newark, London, 1999
341 pages ; 24 cm
9780874136784, 0874136784
The aesthetics of the marvelous: the wondrous work of art in a wondrous world / James V. Mirollo
Pandora's crown: on wonder, imitation, and mechanism in Western art / David Summers
Marvelous facts and miraculous evidence in early modern Europe / Lorraine Daston
Introduction to marvelous possessions / Stephen Greenblatt
Ralaisian (non)wonders and Renaissance polemics / Anne Lake Prescott
Sexual dissonance: early modern scientific accounts of hermaphrodites / Kathleen Perry Long
Who says "miracles are past"? Some Jacobean Marvels and the margins of the known / Dennis Kay
The king's two monstrous bodies: John Bulwer and the English revolution / William E. Burns
The true face of philosophy as magical object: the limits of wisdom and the constitution of the (super)natural in Montaigne's essays 1.26 and 1.27 / Margaret Spires
"Come, let me clutch thee": Macbeth and the marvelous text / Tom Bishop
Interpreting providence: the politics of Jermiad in restoration polemic / Margery Kingsley
The politics of the monstrous in Burke and Kant / William R. Musgrave
Fancy's images: wit, the sublime, and rise of aestheticism / James Biester