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Emblems from the Heart: The Reception of the Cor Iesu Amanti Sacrum Engravings Series in Polish and Netherlandish 17th-Century Manuscripts

Abstract

The Cor Iesu amanti sacrum, a series of engravings made by Anton II Wierix around the year 1600, became one of the most important series of religious emblems from the 17th and 18th centuries. The engravings’ printed reception is well known: there are numerous graphical copies, as well as books written on the basis of the emblems, starting with the work by the French Jesuit Étienne Luzvic, entitled Le cœur devot throsne royal de Iesus pacifique Salomon, from 1626. The article discusses the handwritten reception of the series, which until now has remained virtually uninvestigated. The authors analyze five works of literature, preserved in Polish and Netherlandish 17th-century manuscripts and inspired by the engravings from the Cor Iesu amanti sacrum: Het herte Jesu by an anonymous Netherlandish protestant (a manuscript from Tilburg), Opofferingh van het herte aan den Bruijdegom Iesus Christus by the Netherlandish scientist and doctor Jan Swammerdam (a manuscript from Ghent), and three untitled Polish versions: a poetical collection by the Jesuit Mikołaj Mieleszko, dedicated to the Duchess Katarzyna Radziwiłł in 1657 (a manuscript from Saint-Petersburg) and two different works preserved in monastic libraries (manuscripts from Imbramowice and Stary Sącz).

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American Indian Languages in the Eyes of 17th-Century French and British Missionaries

Abstract

This paper examines 17th-century descriptions of Algonquian and Iroquoian languages by French and British missionaries as well as their subsequent reinterpretations. Focusing on such representative studies as Paul Le Jeune’s (1592–1664) sketch of Montagnais, John Eliot’s (1604–1690) grammar of Massachusett, and the accounts of Huron by Jean de Brébeuf (1593–1649) and Gabriel Sagard-Théodat (c.1600–1650), I discuss their analysis of the sound systems, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. In addition, I examine the reception of early missionary accounts in European scholarship, focusing on the role they played in the shaping of the notion of ‘primitive’ languages and their speakers in the 18th and 19th centuries. I also discuss the impressionistic nature of evaluations of phonetic, lexical, and grammatical properties in terms of complexity and richness. Based on examples of the early accounts of the lexicon and structure of Algonquian and Iroquoian languages, I show that even though these accounts were preliminary in their character, they frequently provided detailed and insightful representations of unfamiliar languages. The reception and subsequent transmission of the linguistic examples they illustrated was however influenced by the changing theoretical and ideological context, resulting in interpretations that were often contradictory to those intended in the original descriptions.

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Introduction: Shakespeare and/in Europe: Connecting Voices

Abstract

Recent Shakespearean productions, just like current European crises, have highlighted the exclusionary nature of European identity. In defining the scope of this special issue, the aim of this introduction is to shift the study of Shakespeare in/and Europe away from the ideological field of “unity within diversity” and its attendant politics of negotiation and mediation. Instead, it investigates whether re-situating Shakespearean analysis within regimes of exclusionary politics and group conflict attitudes helps to generate dynamic cultural and social understandings. To what effect is Shakespeare’s work invoked in relation with the tensions inherent in European societies? Can such invocations encourage reflections on Europe as a social, political and/or cultural entity? Is it possible to conceptualize Shakespearean drama as offering an effective instrument that connects―or not―the voices of the people of Europe?

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King John in the “Vormärz”: Worrying Politics and Pathos

Abstract

This article picks up on a tendency of recent criticism to look to Shakespeare for insights into contemporary politics, and extends it backwards to the period of German history known as the “Vormärz”―the period between 1815 and 1848. It establishes parallels between that period and the current debates about Brexit, and shows how equivalent issues are reflected in the accounts of King John given by three leading German critics of the “Vormärz” period―which also successively demonstrate the deleterious rise of German nationalism. These issues include: the weaknesses, mistakes and crimes of the powerful, and their effect both on the nation directly afflicted with them, and on others; the issue of national sovereignty and its relationship to the fellowship of nations; the struggle against arguably alien ways of thinking; the dividing line between necessary compromise and rank betrayal; the dilemma of choice; and the poisoned chalice of democratic freedom. And the parallels they establish between Shakespeare, the “Vormärz” and us are as instructive as they are unsettling.

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Cross-Cultural Casting in Britain: The Path to Inclusion, 1972-2012

Abstract

This essay uses three productions to chart the progress of the integration of performers of African and Afro-Caribbean descent in professional British Shakespearean theatre. It argues that the three productions―from 1972, 1988 and 2012―each use cross-cultural casting in ways that illuminate the phases of inclusion for British performers of colour. Peter Coe’s 1972 The Black Macbeth was staged at a time when an implicit colour bar in Shakespeare was in place, but black performers were included in the production in ways that reinforced dominant racial stereotypes. Temba’s 1988 Romeo and Juliet used its Cuban setting to challenge stereotypes by presenting black actors in an environment that was meant to show them as “real human beings”. The RSC’s 2012 Julius Caesar was a black British staging of Shakespeare that allowed black actors to use their cultural heritages to claim Shakespeare, signalling the performers’ greater inclusion into British Shakespearean theatre.

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Transversal Connections: The Cervantes Quatercentenary in Spain and its Comparison with “Shakespeare Lives”

Abstract

Taking as its cue the 2016 quatercentenaries of the deaths of both Shakespeare and Cervantes, the essay offers some insights into the “transversal connections” between both events as celebrated in Spain and the UK. The questions it raises and attempts to resolve are fourfold: (1) What are the reasons and also the benefits of yoking together two such apparently disparate authors, whose strongest link is, arguably, the fact they both passed away in 1616? (2) What work is being done to restore these writers to life, especially in schools where, for a variety of reasons, literature has lost its core-curricular status, and in general society where the classics seem to have less and less import? (3) What might Shakespeare or Cervantes be said to stand for in their respective cultures, both in terms of the genres they wrote in (it is often forgotten, for instance, that Cervantes was also a poet and a dramatist) and the extra-literary values they are said to transmit? (4) What is the role of the State in the safeguarding and promotion of the nation’s cultural heritage?

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Finding Refuge in King Lear: From Brexit to Shakespeare’s European Value

Abstract

This article considers how Shakespeare’s King Lear has become a Brexit play across a range of discourses and media, from theatre productions and journalism to social media. With its themes of division and disbursement, of cliff edges and tragic self-immolation, Lear is the Shakespearean play that has been turned to as metaphor and analogy for the UK’s decision following the 23 June 2016 referendum to leave the European Union. Reading this presentist application of Shakespeare, the article attends to Shakespeare as itself a discourse through which cultural ideas, both real and imaginary, about Brexit and the EU are negotiated. It asks how can we might remap Lear in this present context―what other meanings and histories are to be derived from the play, especially in Lear’s exile and search for refuge, or in Cordelia’s departure for and return from France? Moving from a consideration of a Brexit Lear to an archipelagic and even European Lear, this article argues that Shakespeare is simultaneously a site of supranational connections and of a desire for values of empathy and refuge that reverberate with debates about migration in Europe.

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“Making Things Look Disconcertingly Different”: In Conversation with Declan Donnellan

Abstract

In this interview acclaimed director Declan Donnellan, co-founder of the company Cheek by Jowl, discusses his experience of performing Shakespeare in Europe and the attendant themes of cultural difference, language and translation. Donnellan evokes his company’s commitment to connecting with audiences globally. He keeps returning to Shakespeare, as his theatre enables the sharing of our common humanity. It allows a flesh-and-blood carnal interchange between the actors and the audience which directly affects individuals. This interchange has significant consequences in terms of translation and direction.

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