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Marvelous Possessions By Stephen J. Greenblatt

Marvelous Possessions

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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. The author argues that "the experience of the marvellous" was yoked by Columbus and others to the service of colonial appropriation.

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Marvelous Possessions Summary


Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World by Stephen J. Greenblatt

This study examines 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 readings of travel narratives, judicial documents and official documents, Greenblatt shows that "the experience of the marvellous", central to both art and philosophy, was yoked by Columbus and others to service of colonial appropriation. He argues that the traditional symbolic actions and legal rituals through which European sovereignty was asserted were strained to breaking point by the unprecedented nature of the discovery of the New World. But the book also shows that "the experience of the marvellous" is not necessarily an agent of empire: in writers as different as Herodotus, Jean de Lery and Montaigne - and notably in "Mandeville's Travels" - wonder is the sign of a recognition of cultural difference. Greenblatt 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 possesiveness, to keep the capacity for wonder from being poisoned.

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Table of Contents


From the dome of the rock to the rim of the world; marvelous possessions; kidnapping language; the go-between.

Additional information

GOR010830243
Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World by Stephen J. Greenblatt
Stephen J. Greenblatt
Clarendon Lectures
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Oxford University Press
1991-09-12
215
0198123825
9780198123828
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.