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Limits and Beyond: Greenblatt, New Historicism and a Feminist Genealogy

By Chung-Hsiung Lai

Abstract

Though one of the most powerful disciplines of contemporary literary criticism, New Historicism has faced attacks from various quarters. Accordingly, using Greenblatt's works as examples, I am going to explore the theoretical problems of New Historicism in detail by dividing its development into two stages-the first stage is the "panoptical past: language, self and power" and the second is "go-betweenness: wonder and resonance." The former is trapped a Foucauldian closure-structure of power relations with the politics of cultural despair, whereas the latter has tended to escape from this pessimistic trap with the strategy of "go-betweenness." Facing up to these aspects, rather than presenting a "shopping list" of improvements required for New Historicism, I will explain how New Historicism should be reconciled with the mainstream postmodernism, which is more diverse, affirmative and ethico-political than the formalistic and pessimistic theory advocated by Greenblatt. I will then ex-amine the possibility of a feminist new historicism to show how New Historicism can revitalize its critique, cross its limits and thus reach beyond its traditional domain

Topics: Greenblatt, New Historicism, language, self, power, wonder, resonance, feminism, genealogy
Publisher: 臺中市:國立中興大學外國語文學系
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:ir.lib.nchu.edu.tw:11455/81363
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