Plotting Gothic (Hardback)
  • Plotting Gothic (Hardback)
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Plotting Gothic (Hardback)

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£34.00
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 17/03/2015
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A historian of medieval art and architecture with a rich appreciation of literary studies, Stephen Murray brings all those fields to bear in presenting a new way of understanding the great Gothic churches of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries: as rhetorical constructs. Plotting Gothic begins by positioning the rhetoric of the Gothic as a series of plots, or stories intended for visitors, then extends that concept to the relationship between a building, its audience, and the many interlocutors involved in that relationship, such as builders, scholars, tour guides, and resident clergy. What were the rhetorical common places that such interlocutors used to interpret the Gothic when it was new? Drawing on building records and personal recollections of architects and churchmen, Murray traces common analogies between rhetoric and architectural space that date back to late antiquity, then shows how those links were translated into wood, stone, and space under specific local conditions. The resulting book offers an invigorating new way to understand some of the most lasting achievements of the medieval era.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226191805
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 726 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"This book, more than any other I know, evokes the participatory excitement in experiencing a medieval masterpiece. Murray's premise is that (despite marks of the 'push and shove of real life' upon them) the great medieval cathedrals possess legible plots, motives, and designs on their experiencing subjects. Balancing stories told about them and stories they tell, he freshens the discussion of medieval architecture in an entirely welcome way. This is a risk-taking study, truly rather than just gesturally interdisciplinary, and the risks pay off."--Paul Strohm, author of Theory and the Premodern Text
""Plotting Gothic" is not a new book about an old subject; it's a new kind of architectural history. Murray reads cathedrals as objects of desire by those who planned and built them . . . and makes us see them with avid eyes."--Stephen G. Nichols, author of Romanesque Signs: Early Medieval Narrative and Iconography
"With insight and verve, Murray prizes open the major rhetorical constructions of Gothic--writings that nurtured Gothic's emergence and bore witness to its contemporary reception--and in the process reconciles, indeed synthesizes, them in a totally novel way. Murray's reputation among art historians and medievalists will galvanize a wide audience for this book; his innovative approach to historiography and discourse analysis will attract even more readers. There is really nothing comparable in the recent literature on Gothic architecture and art."--Mitchell B. Merback, author of Pilgrimage and Pogrom: Violence, Memory, and Visual Culture at the Host-Miracle Shrines of Germany and Austria
"With insight and verve, Murray pries open the major rhetorical constructions of Gothic--writings that nurtured Gothic's emergence and bore witness to its contemporary reception--and in the process reconciles, indeed synthesizes, them in a totally novel way. Murray's reputation among art historians and medievalists will galvanize a wide audience for this book; his innovative approach to historiography and discourse analysis will attract even more readers. There is really nothing comparable in the recent literature on Gothic architecture and art."--Mitchell B. Merback, author of Pilgrimage and Pogrom: Violence, Memory, and Visual Culture at the Host-Miracle Shrines of Germany and Austria
"Plotting Gothic" is not a new book about an old subject; it s a new kind of architectural history. Murray reads cathedrals as objects of desire by those who planned and built them . . . and makes us see them with avid eyes. --Stephen G. Nichols, author of Romanesque Signs: Early Medieval Narrative and Iconography"
With insight and verve, Murray pries open the major rhetorical constructions of Gothic writings that nurtured Gothic s emergence and bore witness to its contemporary reception and in the process reconciles, indeed synthesizes, them in a totally novel way. Murray s reputation among art historians and medievalists will galvanize a wide audience for this book; his innovative approach to historiography and discourse analysis will attract even more readers. There is really nothing comparable in the recent literature on Gothic architecture and art. --Mitchell B. Merback, author of Pilgrimage and Pogrom: Violence, Memory, and Visual Culture at the Host-Miracle Shrines of Germany and Austria"
This book, more than any other I know, evokes the participatory excitement in experiencing a medieval masterpiece. Murray s premise is that (despite marks of the push and shove of real life upon them) the great medieval cathedrals possess legible plots, motives, and designs on their experiencing subjects. Balancing stories told about them and stories they tell, he freshens the discussion of medieval architecture in an entirely welcome way. This is a risk-taking study, truly rather than just gesturally interdisciplinary, and the risks pay off. --Paul Strohm, author of Theory and the Premodern Text"

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