Aus unseren Neuerwerbungen – Anglistik 2020.7

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The rise of Vic­to­ri­an car­i­ca­ture
This book serves as a retrieval and reeval­u­a­tion of a rich haul of com­ic car­i­ca­tures from the tur­bu­lent years between the Reform Bill cri­sis of the ear­ly 1830s and the rise and fall of Char­tism in the 1840s. With a telling selec­tion of illus­tra­tions, this book deploys the tech­niques of close read­ing and polit­i­cal con­tex­tu­al­iza­tion to demon­strate the aes­thet­ic and ide­o­log­i­cal clout of a neglect­ed tranche of satir­i­cal prints and peri­od­i­cals dis­missed as inef­fec­tu­al by his­to­ri­ans or dis­taste­ful by con­tem­po­raries. The prime exhibits are the work of Robert Sey­mour and C.J. Grant giv­ing acer­bic com­ic edge to the case for reform against class and state oppres­sion and the excess­es of the monar­chi­cal regime under the young Queen Vic­to­ria.
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Shake­speare, the­ol­o­gy, and the unstaged God
While many schol­ars in Shake­speare and Reli­gious Stud­ies assume a sec­u­lar­ist view­point in their inter­pre­ta­tion of Shakespeare’s works, there are oth­ers that allow for a the­o­log­i­cal­ly coher­ent read­ing. Locat­ed with­in the turn to reli­gion in Shake­speare stud­ies, this book goes beyond the claim that Shake­speare sim­ply made artis­tic use of reli­gious mate­r­i­al in his dra­ma. It argues that his plays inhab­it a com­plex and rich the­o­log­i­cal atmos­phere, indi­vid­u­al­ly, by genre and as a body of work.
The book begins by acknowl­edg­ing that a plot-con­trol­ling God fig­ure, or even a con­sis­tent the­o­log­i­cal dog­ma, is large­ly absent in the plays of Shake­speare. How­ev­er, it argues that this absence is not nec­es­sar­i­ly a sign of sec­u­lar­iza­tion, but func­tions in a the­o­log­i­cal­ly gen­er­a­tive man­ner. It goes on to sug­gest that the plays reveal a con­sis­tent, if vari­ant, atten­tion to the the­o­log­i­cal pos­si­bil­i­ty of a divine „pres­ence“ medi­at­ed through human wit, both in gra­cious and mali­cious forms. With­out any prej­u­dice for divine inter­ven­tion, the plots actu­al­ly ges­ture on many turns toward a hid­den super­nat­ur­al „actor“, or God.
Mak­ing bold claims about the artis­tic and the­o­log­i­cal of Shakespeare’s work, this book will be of inter­est to schol­ars of The­ol­o­gy and the Arts, Shake­speare and Lit­er­a­ture more gen­er­al­ly.
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