Myths Of Renaissance Individualism

Overview

The idea that the Renaissance witnessed the emergence of the modern individual remains a powerful myth. In this important new book Martin examines the Renaissance self with attention to both social history and literary theory and offers a new typology of Renaissance selfhood which was at once collective, performative and porous. At the same time, he stresses the layered qualities of the Renaissance self and the salient role of interiority and notions of inwardness in the shaping of identity. Myths of Renaissance ...
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Overview

The idea that the Renaissance witnessed the emergence of the modern individual remains a powerful myth. In this important new book Martin examines the Renaissance self with attention to both social history and literary theory and offers a new typology of Renaissance selfhood which was at once collective, performative and porous. At the same time, he stresses the layered qualities of the Renaissance self and the salient role of interiority and notions of inwardness in the shaping of identity. Myths of Renaissance Individualism, in short, will interest students not only of history but also of art history, literature, music, philosophy, psychology and religion.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Beautifully written, richly documented, and philosophically nuanced, John J. Martin's Myths of Renaissance Individualism sets a new standard in the field of Renaissance studies...Martin explodes the anachronistic stereotypes of previous generations of scholarship concerning the Renaissance individual, and gives us a much-needed map of the frontiers of the early modern self."—Jon R. Snyder, University of California, Santa Barbara

"Martin's contribution to the much debated question of Renaissance individualism will be enormously stimulating to all students of the period. In my own field of the history of art, his recasting of the debate has particularly important implications for our reading of Renaissance portraiture. More generally, his central emphasis on the dynamic relationship in the period between inner self and social identity is relevant to a more balanced interpretation of every aspect of its visual culture." — Peter Humfrey, University of St Andrews

"This is a major contribution to the study of Renaissance individualism. John Jeffries Martin offers a lively and readable revisionist account, which suggests that rather than being either autonomous or constructed, the Renaissance self is relational. Building from primarily Italian examples, Martin's study will be essential reading for all students of Renaissance culture and ideology."—Richard D. Brown, The Open University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780333643082
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Series: Early Modern History Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

John Jeffries Martin is Professor of History at Trinity University.

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Table of Contents

1 '"Individualism" - a word unknown to our ancestors' 1
2 The inquisitors' questions 21
3 Spiritual journeys 41
4 A journeymen's feast of fools 62
5 Possessions 83
6 The proffered heart 103
7 Myths of identity - an essay 123
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