Early Modern Poetics in Melville and Poe: Memory, by William E. Engel

By William E. Engel

Bringing to undergo his services within the early glossy brand culture, William E. Engel strains a chain of self-reflective organizational schemes linked to baroque artifice within the paintings of Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe. whereas different students have remarked at the impact of seventeenth-century literature on Melville and Poe, this is often the 1st publication to discover how their shut readings of early sleek texts stimulated their judgements approximately compositional perform, particularly because it pertains to public functionality and the exigencies of book. Engel's dialogue of the narrative constitution and emblematic elements of Melville's Piazza stories and Poe's "The Raven" function case reports that display the authors' debt to the prior. Focusing largely at the overlapping rhetorical and iconic assumptions of the artwork of reminiscence and its relation to chiasmus, Engel avoids accomplishing an easy account of what those authors learn and included into their very own writings. as an alternative, via an exam in their predisposition towards an prior version of trend popularity, he bargains clean perception into the writers' understandings of mourning and loss, their use of allegory, and what they received from their use of pseudonyms.

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Extra resources for Early Modern Poetics in Melville and Poe: Memory, Melancholy, and the Emblematic Tradition

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THE WORLD, that stepped / into our empty hour: // Two / tree-trunks, black, / unbranched, without / knots. / In the jet-trail, sharp-edged, the / one / free- / standing top-leaf. ) (1:190) Like many of Celan’s poems, this one seems based on a sensory impression, yet the impression is conveyed in such a way that we have difficulty making out exactly what he saw. ) is not easy to account for. But it is clear from the first two lines that this picture, whatever it was, seemed to the poet to summarize our whole existence.

Es ist das Gegenwort, es ist das Wort, das den “Draht” zerreißt, das Wort, das sich nicht mehr vor den “Eckstehern und Paradegäulen der Geschichte” bückt, es ist ein Akt der Freiheit. Es ist ein Schritt. After all those words uttered on the rostrum (it’s the scaffold)—what a word! It is a counter-word, a word that snaps the “wire,” a word that no longer bows to “history’s loiterers and parade-horses,” it is an act of freedom. It is a step. “Free(dom)” is another keyword, both in “The Meridian” and in the poems.

Erotic candor is nothing new in the Jewish tradition, beginning with the Song of Songs and continuing in the Zohar. Rabbi Akiva declared that the Song of Songs was “holy of holies,” 62 but this was contingent on a view of the Song of Songs as allegorical (the masculine partner as God, the feminine partner as the people Israel). 63 Rabbi Akiva also said that whoever sings the Song of Songs in the tavern has no share in the World to Come. 64 One might Idolatry, Determinism, and Freedom 25 also think of the “Talmudic legend,” cited by Walter Benjamin in his essay on Kafka, of a princess (the soul) “languishing in exile, in a village whose language she does not understand” (the body), who receives a letter from her betrothed (the Messiah) announcing that he is on his way to her.

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