Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 2018 vol. 53


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 11
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    "Studia Anglica Posnaniensia" 1968–2017: The complete bibliography
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2018) Zagórska, Paulina
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    Reanimating the English historical novel in the twenty-first century – the case of David Mitchell’s "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet"
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2018) Kucała, Bożena
    This article argues that David Mitchell’s novel "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" (2010) represents a new variation of the genre of historical fiction. The historical novel in Britain has risen to prominence since the 1980s and in the twenty-first century this strong interest in the past continues. Placing David Mitchell’s book in the context of recent historical fiction, the article takes account of Joseph Brooker’s hypothesis that, together with Hilary Mantel’s Tudor novels, "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" may be indicative of an emergent trend in the contemporary English historical novel. The purpose of the article is to identify and explore Mitchell’s key strategies of writing about history. It is argued that, departing from the prevalent mode of historiographic metafiction, Mitchell’s book adheres to some of the traditional tenets of the genre while achieving the Scottian aim of animating the past in innovative ways. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the use of the present tense, the subjective perspectives, and the exclusion of foreknowledge lend the novel dramatic qualities.
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    Demetaphorization, anatomy, and the semiotics of the reformation in early modern revenge tragedy
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2018) Kiss, Attila
    Reformation theology induced a profound thanatological crisis in the semiotics of the human being and the body. The Protestant Reformation discontinued numerous practices of intercession and communal ritual, and the early modern subject was left vulnerable in the face of death. The English Renaissance stage played out these anxieties within the larger context of the epistemological uncertainties of the age, employing violence and the anatomization of the body as representational techniques. While theories of language and tragic poetry oscillated between different ideas of imitatio (granting priority to the model) and mimesis (with preference for the creative and individual nature of the copy), the new anatomical interest and dissective perspectives also had their effects on the rhetorical practices of revenge tragedies. In the most shocking moments of these plays, rhetorical tropes suddenly turn into grisly reality, and figures of speech become demetaphorized, literalized. In a double anatomy of body and mind, English Renaissance revenge tragedy simultaneously employs and questions the emblematic and poetic traditions of representation, and the ensuing indeterminacy and ambiguity open paths for a new mimesis.
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    “Speaking pictures”: Ways of seeing and reading in English Renaissance culture
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2018) Szőnyi, Gyӧrgy E.
    Neither in Antiquity nor in the Middle Ages could literary theory settle the debate about the primacy of inspiration or imitation, Plato or Aristotle. It was in the Renaissance that serious efforts were made to reconcile the two theories, and one of the best syntheses came from England. Philosophical and aesthetical syncretism between Plato and Aristotle makes Sidney’s Defense of Poesie a non-dogmatic and particularly inspiring foundation for English literary theory. Also, Philip Sidney’s notion of “speaking pictures” needs to be revisited, in view of the ontology and epistemology of art, as a ground-breaking model for understanding the multimediality of cultural representations. The first part of the following essay is devoted to this. Furthermore, it will be examined how Sidney’s visual poetics influenced and at the same time represented emblematic ways of seeing and thinking in Elizabethan culture. These are particularly conspicuous in the influence of emblem theory in England and in Renaissance literary practice related to that. In the final section I intend to show that Shakespeare’s intriguing, although implicit, poetics is a telling example of how Renaissance visual culture enabled a model that put equal stress on inspiration and imitation, and also on the part of the audience, whose imagination had (and still has) to work in cooperation with the author’s intention.