By John Kerrigan
Seventeenth-century 'English Literature' has lengthy been thought of in narrowly English phrases. Archipelagic English corrects this by way of devolving anglophone writing, displaying how a lot impressive paintings used to be produced in Wales, Scotland, and eire, and the way preoccupied such English authors as Shakespeare, Milton, and Marvell have been with the usually fraught interactions among ethnic, spiritual, and nationwide teams round the British-Irish archipelago. This e-book transforms our realizing of canonical texts from Macbeth to Defoe's Colonel Jack, however it additionally exhibits the importance of an entire sequence of authors (from William Drummond in Scotland to the Earl of Orrery in County Cork) who have been well-liked in the course of their lifetimes yet who've in view that turn into ignored simply because they don't healthy the Anglocentric paradigm. With its eu and imperial dimensions, and its shut consciousness to the cultural makeup of early glossy Britain and eire, Archipelagic English authoritatively engages with, questions, and develops the declare now made by way of historians that the crises of the 17th century stem from the instabilities of a state-system which, among 1603 and 1707, used to be a number of, combined, and prone to permit neighborhood quarrels spiral into all-consuming clash. this can be a significant, interdisciplinary contribution to literary and old scholarship that is additionally set to persuade present-day arguments approximately devolution, unionism, and nationalism in Britain and eire.
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Extra resources for Archipelagic English: Literature, History, and Politics 1603-1707
It’s the sign of another orbit—follow it,” reads Montale’s “Arsenio” (v. 12). This is the tiny crack, slender opening, or barely perceptible loophole signaled in Calvino’s lesson on lightness as he emphasizes the moral value of thin and light literary icons. To pursue and fi nd such small traces requires that readers learn how to see (and interpret) anew. Conversely, the reading of light literary images educates the imagination of readers to visually break up the petrification, perceive its heterogeneity, and recognize its instantiations of levity, of unexpected grace.
In the late ’60s, when Invisible Cities was well underway, Calvino’s poetic proclivity for geomorphological images of stagnation, stickiness, and magma underwent a gradual hardening that parallels the process of progressive calcification in the natural world. 12 That hardening, or “lethal embrace of that which is solid and immobile” (Saggi 2: 2967), was to yield the image of Medusa familiar to readers of the chapter on lightness in Six Memos. It is not surprising, then, that metaphorical antecedents to petrification surfaced repeatedly in the essays on magma, along with the fi rst images of ascending lightness—the figurative ancestors of Perseus, the other (and apposite) mythological character enshrined in that chapter on lightness.
Finally, I explore how visionary architecture was allied with the plastic arts, especially sculpture, and how Calvino conjoined urbanism and sculpture in Invisible Cities. Here I build upon the critical literature on the relationship between the visual and plastic arts and Calvino’s nonfiction, specifically, the identification of a tendency toward ekphrasis in his writing. By his own admission, Calvino’s understanding of lightness was shaped by the engineer and artist Fausto Melotti (1901-86), and several of the light cities in Calvino’s novel were directly inspired by Melotti’s urban imaginary.
Archipelagic English: Literature, History, and Politics 1603-1707 by John Kerrigan