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Marvelous possessions :the wonder of the New World

Marvelous possessions :the wonder of the New World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Marvelous Possessions is a study of the ways in which Europeans of the late Middle Ages and the early modern period represented non-European peoples and took possession of their lands, in particular the New World.

In a series of innovative readings of travel narratives, judicial documents, and official reports, Stephen Greenblatt shows that the experience of the marvelous, central to both art and philosophy, was cunningly yoked by Columbus and others to the service of colonial appropriation. He argues that the traditional symbolic actions and legal rituals through which European sovereignty was asserted were strained to the breaking point by the unprecedented nature of the discovery of the New World. But the book also shows that the experience of the marvelous is not necessarily an agent of empire: in writers as different as Herodotus, Jean de Léry, and Montaigne—and notably in Mandeville's Travels, the most popular travel book of the Middle Ages—wonder is a sign of a remarkably tolerant recognition of cultural difference.

Marvelous Possession is not only a collection of the odd and exotic through which Stephen Greenblatt powerfully conveys a sense of the marvelous, but also a highly original extension of his thinking on a subject that has occupied him throughout his career. The book reaches back to the ancient Greeks and forward to the present to ask how it is possible, in a time of disorientation, hatred of the other, and possessiveness, to keep the capacity for wonder from being poisoned?

"A marvellous book. It is also a compelling and a powerful one. Nothing so original has ever been written on European responses to 'The wonder of the New World.'"—Anthony Pagden, Times Literary Supplement

"By far the most intellectually gripping and penetrating discussion of the relationship between intruders and natives is provided by Stephen Greenblatt's Marvelous Possessions."—Simon Schama, The New Republic

"For the most engaging and illuminating perspective of all, read Marvelous Possessions."—Laura Shapiro, Newsweek

Book News Annotation:

Explores how Europeans of the late Middle Ages and early modern period represented newly discovered exotic peoples in travel narratives, judicial documents, and official reports. Especially shows how the sense of the marvellous was primarily used to encourage the appropriation of new lands (but not always).
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [152]-194) and index.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

1. Introduction

2. From the Dome of the Rock to the Rim of the World

3. Marvelous Possessions

4. Kidnapping Language

5. The Go-Between

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226306513
Subtitle:
The Wonder of the New World
Publisher:
University Of Chicago Press
Author:
Greenblatt, Stephen
Location:
Chicago :
Subject:
America
Subject:
Travel in literature
Subject:
Marvelous, The.
Subject:
Wonder.
Subject:
Wonder -- Social aspects.
Subject:
General Self-Help
Subject:
Renaissance
Edition Description:
1
Series Volume:
970
Publication Date:
19911014
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Illustrations:
16 halftones
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Europe
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Literary and Cultural Studies

Marvelous possessions :the wonder of the New World
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Product details 216 pages University of Chicago Press,1991. - English 9780226306513 Reviews:
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