Classicism = cultural embezziement? History is a love story: a tale of desire and jealousy, abandonment and fidelity, abduction and theft, rupture and reconciliation. This contention is central is central to Grafting Helen, Matthew Gumpert's original and dazzling meditation on Helen of Troy as a crucial emblem for much of Western thought and literature. Grafting Helen looks at ""classicism"" - the privileged thetorical language for describing cultural origins in the West - as a protracted form of cultural embezzlement. No coin of the realm has been more valuable, more circulated, more coveted, or more counterfeited than the one that bears the face of Helen of Troy. Gumpert uncovers Helen as the emblem for the past as something to be stolen, appropriated, imitated, extorted, and coverted once again. Tracing the figure of Helen from its classical origins through the Middle Ages, the French Renaissance, and the modern era, Gumpert suggests that the relation of current Western culture to the past is not like the act of coveting; it is the act of coveting, he argues, for it relies on the same strategies, the same defenses, the same denials, and the same delusions.
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 490 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
You may also be interested in...
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at