Utopia, Carnival, and Commonwealth in Renaissance England

Utopia, Carnival, and Commonwealth in Renaissance England

by Christopher Kendrick
     
 

ISBN-10: 0802089364

ISBN-13: 9780802089366

Pub. Date: 10/28/2004

Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division

With the emergence of utopia as a cultural genre in the sixteenth century, a dual understanding of alternative societies, as either political or literary, took shape. In Utopia, Carnival, and Commonwealth in Renaissance England, Christopher Kendrick argues that the chief cultural-discursive conditions of this development are to be found in the practice of

Overview

With the emergence of utopia as a cultural genre in the sixteenth century, a dual understanding of alternative societies, as either political or literary, took shape. In Utopia, Carnival, and Commonwealth in Renaissance England, Christopher Kendrick argues that the chief cultural-discursive conditions of this development are to be found in the practice of carnivalesque satire and in the attempt to construct a valid commonwealth ideology. Meanwhile, the enabling social-political condition of the new utopian writing is the existence of a social class of smallholders whose unevenly developed character prevents it from attaining political power equivalent to its social weight.

In a detailed reading of Thomas More's Utopia, Kendrick argues that the uncanny dislocations, the incongruities and blank spots often remarked upon in Book II's description of Utopian society, amount to a way of discovering uneven development, and that the appeal of Utopian communism stems from its answering the desire of the smallholding class (in which are to be numbered European humanists) for unity and power. Subsequent chapters on Rabelais, Nashe, Marlowe, Bacon, Shakespeare, and others show how the utopian form engages with its two chief discursive preconditions, carnival and commonwealth ideologies, while reflecting the history of uneven development and the smallholding class. Utopia, Carnival, and Commonwealth in Renaissance England makes a novel case for the social and cultural significance of Renaissance utopian writing, and of the modern utopia in general.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802089366
Publisher:
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date:
10/28/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
380
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.43(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsvii
Chapter IUtopian Differences
iDefining Middles: Morris, Fourier, Marx3
iiDefining Beginnings: Utopia28
Chapter IICarnival and Utopia
iUtopia as the Negation of Carnival74
iiCarnival Strikes Back: Rabelais's Abbey of Theleme86
Chapter IIIUtopia and the Commonwealth
iConjuring Revolution in the Dialogue of Counsel112
iiThe Body Politic and Utopia in A Dialogue of Pole and Lupset135
iiiA Discourse of the Commonweal, the East Anglian Rebellion, and the End of the Smallholding Utopia169
Chapter IVSprung Desire and Groups in Flux: On the Politics of the Utopian Impulse in Marlowe and Shakespeare
iTravesty, Allegory, and the Political Effectivity of Renaissance Drama198
iiMarlowe and the Utopia of Sprung Desire218
iiiGroups in Flux in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I227
Chapter VFlights from the Tudor Settlement; or, Carnival and Commonwealth Revised
iNashe's Lenten Utopia238
iiThe Imperial Lab: Discovering Forms in The New Atlantis288
Notes333
Index371

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