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Sympathy in Early Modern Literature and Culture

«'A wonderfully perceptive book, written with great empathy. Meek is an astute reader of early modern literature, but his book also attends carefully to the ethical and spiritual possibilities of compassion in the wider world. A brilliant addition to scholarship on the history of emotion.' Katharine A. Craik, Oxford Brookes University»

This is the first comprehensive study of sympathy in the early modern period, providing a deeply researched and interdisciplinary examination of its development in Anglophone literature and culture. It argues that the term sympathy was used to refer to an active and imaginative sharing of affect considerably earlier than previous critical and historical accounts have suggested. Les mer

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This is the first comprehensive study of sympathy in the early modern period, providing a deeply researched and interdisciplinary examination of its development in Anglophone literature and culture. It argues that the term sympathy was used to refer to an active and imaginative sharing of affect considerably earlier than previous critical and historical accounts have suggested. Investigating a wide range of texts and genres, including prose fiction, sermons, poetic complaint, drama, political tracts, and scientific treatises, Richard Meek demonstrates the ways in which sympathy in the period is bound up with larger debates about society, religion, and identity. He also reveals the extent to which early modern emotions were not simply humoral or grounded in the body, but rather relational, comparative, and intertextual. This volume will be of particular interest to scholars and students of Renaissance literature and history, the history of emotions, and the history and philosophy of science.

Detaljer

Forlag
Cambridge University Press
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
ISBN
9781009280266
Utgivelsesår
2023
Format
24 x 16 cm

Om forfatteren

Richard Meek is Lecturer in English at the University of Hull. He is the author of Narrating the Visual in Shakespeare (2009) and co-editor of Shakespeare's Book: Essays in Reading, Writing and Reception (2008), The Renaissance of Emotion: Understanding Affect in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (2015), and Ekphrastic Encounters: New Interdisciplinary Essays on Literature and the Visual Arts (2019).

Anmeldelser

«'A wonderfully perceptive book, written with great empathy. Meek is an astute reader of early modern literature, but his book also attends carefully to the ethical and spiritual possibilities of compassion in the wider world. A brilliant addition to scholarship on the history of emotion.' Katharine A. Craik, Oxford Brookes University»

«'Lucid, learned, nimble, and persuasive, Sympathy in Early Modern Literature and Culture is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of emotions in early modern England. In contrast to the commonplace that widespread fascination with what we might now call empathy begins in the eighteenth century, Meek shows how it emerges in the sixteenth century, presaging its importance for later thinkers such as Adam Smith and David Hume. In contrast to recent claims that Shakespeare and his contemporaries understood emotions primarily as effects of physical humours, Meek reveals their profound sense of the human mind as immaterial and intersubjective.' Patrick Gray, Durham University»

«'Sympathy is a key emotion in affect studies and the history of feeling because its changing meanings reveal not just how this particular emotion was experienced and understood, but also how writers have considered the movement of affect more generally from one individual to others. Richard Meek's interdisciplinary analysis of an impressive range of early modern English texts (both literary and non-literary, and both canonical and under-examined) is therefore crucially relevant to historical and contemporary emotion studies. Tracing the semantic shifts in the word 'sympathy' and its imaginative and metaphorical use in the period – from describing a magical affinity or transmission between physical objects and substances in texts of natural philosophy, for instance, to its transpositions denoting compassion or pity in religious texts, to its evaluation as a politically potent and sometimes failed 'fellow-feeling' in dramatic works including King Lear, Meek unravels any simple historical understanding of this emotion's emergence in the eighteenth century. He insists instead that sympathy's widening use and accretion of meanings in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries reveals a growing understanding of this fundamental emotion as intersubjective, as well as both mimetic and willed.' Cora Fox, Arizona State University»

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