Afterlives of the Saints: Hagiography, Typology, and Renaissance Literature
Stanford University Press, 1996 - 269 pages
This book examines the ways in which the literary genre of hagiography and the hermeneutical paradigm of Biblical typology together entered into the construction of "the Renaissance as a canon and period. It is not about saints lives in themselves, as either literary or historical phenomena, but instead addresses the structural effects of hagiography in the secular literature of the Renaissance.
The central texts analyzed--Boccaccio s Decameron, Vasari s Lives of the Artists, and Shakespeare s Measure for Measure and The Winter s Tale--all manifest key moments and aspects in the creation of a Renaissance canon for the post-Renaissance world. The epochal significance of these works, saturated in religious allusions as well as scenes of profane life and classical art, is shown to rest in neither the normative piety nor the subversive heresy of any of these writers, but rather in their crafting of myths of modernity precisely out of the religious material that formed such an important part of their daily vocabularies.
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aesthetic allusion analysis Angelo appears artist becomes Benjamin biblical body Burckhardt called canon castration Catholic chapter Chaucer's Christ Christian Church classical constitutes creation critical cultural dead death Decalogue Decameron decapitation desire dialectic discourse effects example father figure final function genre Golden Legend hagiography head Hermione human icon iconography idol idolatry Isabella Italy Jewish Legend Leontes literary literature Lives logic martyr martyrdom meaning Measure for Measure motifs narrative natural natural history novella object once original pagan painting period play play's position possible present produced Protestant reading reference relation religious Renaissance representation represents responsibility saint scene secular sense serves signifier simply statue story structure symbolic symptom takes Tale Testament thing tion tradition turn typology Vasari's Warburg Whereas Winter's writing
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