The Early Modern Grotesque: English Sources and Documents 1500-1700 offers readers a large and fully annotated collection of primary source texts addressing the grotesque in the English Renaissance. The sources are arranged chronologically in 120 numbered items with accompanying explanatory Notes. Each Note provides clarification of difficult terms in the source text, locating it in the context of early modern English and Continental discourses on the grotesque. The Notes also direct readers to further English sources and relevant modern scholarship. This volume includes a detailed introduction surveying the vocabulary, form and meaning of the grotesque from its arrival as a word, concept and aesthetic in 16th century England to its early maturity in the 18th century. The Introduction, Items and Notes, complemented by illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography, provide an unprecedented view of the evolving complexity and diversity of the early modern English grotesque.
While giving due credit to Wolfgang Kayser and Mikhail Bakhtin as masters of grotesque theory, this ground-breaking book aims to provoke new, evidence-based approaches to understanding the specifically English grotesque. The textual archive from 1500-1700 is a rich and intriguing record that offers much to interested readers and researchers in the fields of literary studies, theatre studies and art history.
Table of Contents
List of Figures. Acknowledgements. Abbreviations and a Note on Shakespeare. Introduction. The Purpose and Scope of this Book. Navigating this Collection. The Arrival of the Grotesque in England. The Grotesque in English Visual Arts. The Grotesque in English Theatricality. The Vocabulary of the Grotesque. Genres, Authors and Theories of the Grotesque. Sources and Documents. Chronological List of all Items in this Collection. Bibliography. Index.
Liam E. Semler is Professor of Early Modern Literature at The University of Sydney, Australia.