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Volume 69, Issue 2, Spring 2017

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Displaying: 1-5 of 5 documents

1. Renascence: Volume > 69 > Issue: 2
Maurice Hunt, Climacteric Ages and the Three Seasons of The Winter’s Tale
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Shakespeare in The Winter’s Tale in describing the annual year names only three seasons—Spring, Summer, and Winter. This tripartite scheme is not unprecedented in Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays, e.g. Sonnet 5.5-6; Sonnet 6.1-2, 2 Henry 6 2.4. 1-3; The Tempest 4.1.114-15. What is unique to The Winter’s Tale involves Shakespeare’s correlation of three seasons to a tripartite division of humankind’s age, with a stress on the climacteric years when one season passes to the next. An assumption and a fact undergird this scheme: that a lifetime is 70 years (Psalm 90, verse 10), and that 23 is an important recurring number in this play. Humankind passes from Spring to Summer at age 23 and from Summer to Winter at age 46. Given the possible calculation of major characters’ ages in The Winter’s Tale, one discovers that Leontes after a sixteen-year gap of time is 44, while—in 1610 (the likely date of the play)—Shakespeare himself is 46. This correspondence is richly evocative of figurative final harvests.
2. Renascence: Volume > 69 > Issue: 2
Carla A. Arnell, “Love Beyond Logic”: On Cannons, Castles, and Healing Tomfoolery in Dickens’s Great Expectations and Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
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In the history of comparative scholarship on Dickens and Dostoevsky, many scholars have discussed comedy as a key point of affiliation between the two novelists. One scholar in particular has argued that both novelists portray comic buffoonery as a form of psychological escape from reality. Contrary to that idea, in two subplots with surprising parallels in Great Expectations and The Brothers Karamazov, Dickens and Dostoevsky represent comic play—tomfoolery—as a deliberately chosen way of confronting an absurd reality to bring health or healing. Ultimately, as a “love beyond logic” drives the characters in these stories to serve others through the power of comic play, they themselves become like little children, echoing each novel’s larger theme that growing older and wiser means becoming capable of the laughter of a little child.
3. Renascence: Volume > 69 > Issue: 2
William B. Ness, “Getting Somewhere”: Motion and Stasis in the Works of Flannery O’Connor
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The essay investigates O’Connor’s uses of motion and stasis throughout her canon with an emphasis on the early works. It examines O’Connor’s repeated use of the motifs of haste as spiritually destructive behavior and stasis as the necessary preliminary for redemptive grace moments in many of her stories and both of her novels. Two seminal O’Connor works, The Violent Bear It Away and “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” are singled out for close thematic analysis that yields substantial support for a reading of these works as featuring incidents where a protagonist is suddenly slowed down and brought to a God encounter that offers spiritual transformation. Biographical insights gleaned from O’Connor’s collected letters in The Habit of Being add further credence to this interpretation and suggest autobiographical parallels with the fictional themes under discussion.
4. Renascence: Volume > 69 > Issue: 2
Lyle Enright, Reading Shusaku Endo’s Silence with an Eschatological Imagination
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Entering into conversation with the theological work of Michael Patrick Murphy and Hans Urs von Balthasar, this essay articulates a starting-point for reading Shusaku Endo’s Silence and exploring its relevance for contemporary discussions between Christian aesthetics and postmodernism. Under particular examination are the ways in which both Endo and Balthasar bring postmodern hermeneutics into conversation with Christian eschatology to address questions of knowledge and identity, examining not only how themes of resurrection appear aesthetically in the novel, but also how reading the novel from within this thematic framework speaks to its central concerns. Thus, this essay articulates an anticipatory or eschatological hermeneutic which hopes to do justice to both the violence of Endo’s story and the hope of the Christian narrative.
5. Renascence: Volume > 69 > Issue: 2
Notes on Contributors
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