Type: Chapter; Author(s): Stephen Greenblatt; Page start: 42; Page end: 56; Web address: As Greenblatt tells it in his essay, “Resonance and Wonder” (), the new historicism began as a pun on the new criticism (the critical. In his essay “Resonance and Wonder,” Stephen Greenblatt references an “ absurdly hagiographical” exhibit on Marcel Proust: the exhibit ends.
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He offers each as illustration of his own interests as grewnblatt new historicist. Notice the issue Greenblatt is raising by quoting these lines. He wants to know how a sacred Catholic ritual—the blessing of the marriage bed—has moved from Christian solemnity to the secular stage, thus being transformed by Shakespeare into something pagan. I want to ask what is at stake in the shift from one zone of social practice to another, from the old religion to public theater, from priests to fairies, from holy water to field dew.
First he notes that Wolsey founded Christ Church, a college at Oxford, so the connection seems pretty obvious: Greenblatt thinks about this.
And when, exactly, was it placed under glass? Such issues are the stuff on which the new historicist gnaws. Zones are important for Greenblatt. Some other greenblstt new historicists like Greenblatt give special critical attention to are the following:.
Museums function, partly by design and partly in spite of themselves, as monuments ane the fragility of cultures, to the fall of sustaining institutions and noble houses, the collapse of rituals, the evacuation of myths, the destructive effects of warfare, neglect, and corrosive doubt. Greenblatt would also direct our attention to displacement.
Resonance and Wonder | Americans for the Arts
For preservation, restoration, and fresh display, things get:. The clean stage of the museum room effaces these displacements and restorations, giving objects a quiet mausoleum-like life, their meanings resonant not in time but space that is, in relation to one another.
But every artifact has had another life—a life in time where it was subject to touch.
Animals and elements may touch a thing. A thing can be jostled, or touched by accident, or touched because someone wishes to make use of it. A person can also touch a thing with the intent to harm, alter, or deface it, and so Greenblatt would have us notice how artifacts in museums have been marked by time:.
The most familiar way to recreate the openness of aesthetic artifacts without simply renewing their vulnerability is through a skillful deployment of explanatory texts in the catalogue, on the walls of the exhibit, or on cassettes.
Museum texts also provide one with the brief illusion that time has ceased to touch wondder artifacts; that the texts, because they lack physical fingers for wohder, are a pause on the change of meaning, and do not really shift fundamentally the way we experience the artifacts.
Resonance and Wonder in Two History Museums
How have the objects come to be displayed? How were they originally used? What cultural and material conditions made possible their production? What were the feelings of those who originally held these objects, cherished them, collected them, possessed them? What is my relationship to these same objects now that they are displayed here, in this museum, on this day? Greenblatt is frequently grernblatt with the postmodern turn in academic studies, but as you can see, he is neither obscure nor self-referential as is characteristic of so many other postmodern writers.
You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Who Is Stephen Greenblatt? Posted on December 10, by Santi Tafarella. Every fairy take his gait, And each several chamber bless, Through this palace, with sweet peace, And the owner of it blest Ever shall in safety rest.
As such, I want to ask what is at stake in the shift from one zone resonancw social practice to another, from the old religion to public theater, from priests to fairies, from holy water to field dew. The particular and contingent, not the universal and inevitable.
Every form of behavior, in this view, is a strategy: Agency is virtually inescapable. If human beings in fact display real agency or Nietzschean will in the world and Greenblatt thinks they do; the title of his widely-acclaimed biography of Shakespeare has the resoannce title, Will in the Worldis agency or will ever effective? Where the past surprises and gets interesting. Greenblatt sees his geeenblatt scholarly practice as akin to a crime detective, not an ideologue: A gfeenblatt that never encounters obstacles.
Where butterflies change the weather.
In chaos theory, a small effect a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon can render precise weather forecasting in England a week later impossible for want of a wing flap, a slight tug of breeze went slightly right instead of left; for want of that breeze going left wondr was blocked by a particular tree, and so on. Greenblatt describes part of his project as the extension and resonance of wonder beyond the artifact of contemplation: For preservation, restoration, and fresh display, things get: A person can also touch a thing with the intent to harm, alter, or deface it, and so Greenblatt would have us notice how artifacts in museums have been marked by time: Thus, when attending a museum, Greenblatt would suggest asking questions like these: This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged critical theoryhistoryliteraturenew historicismwonddrpulitzer prizestephen greenblatt.
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