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Narrative and Meaning in Early Modern England


  • 24 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 248 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.389 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521036863)

Howard Marchitello's 1997 study of narrative techniques in Renaissance discourse analyses imaginative conjunctions of literary texts, such as those by Shakespeare and Browne, with developments in scientific and technical writing. In Narrative and Meaning in Early Modern England he explores the relationship between a range of early modern discourses, such as cartography, anatomy and travel writing, and the developing sense of the importance of narrative in producing meaning. Narrative was used in the Renaissance as both a mode of discourse and an epistemology; it not only produced knowledge, it also dictated how that knowledge should be understood. Marchitello uses a wide range of cultural documents to illustrate the importance of narrative in constructing the Renaissance understanding of time and identity. By highlighting the inherent textual element in imaginative and scientific discourses, his study also evaluates a range of contemporary critical practices and explores their relation to narrative and the production of meaning.

• Wide, interdisciplinary study • Links historical material to contemporary critical debates


List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Introduction: narrationalities; 1. Shakespeare's Othello and Vesalius's Fabrica: anatomy, gender and the narrative production of meaning; 2. (Dis)embodied letters and The Merchant of Venice: writing, editing, history; 3. Political maps: the production of cartography in early modern England; 4. Possessing the New World: historicism and the story of the anecdote; 5. Browne's skull; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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