Recursive Origins: Writing at the Transition to Modernity (Paperback)William Kuskin (author)
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Moving beyond his central critique-that notions of period and progress are poor measures of literary history-Kuskin develops and demonstrates the hermeneutic power of recursivity as a powerful challenge to a linear view of literary historical periods. Kuskin appropriates the term "recursion" from computer science, where it describes a computer program's return to a subprogram within itself to perform a more complex procedure. Books, for Kuskin, are recursive: they imagine within themselves a return to an earlier moment of writing, which, when read, they enact in the present. His is a profound claim for the grip of the past on the present and, more locally, a reclamation of the importance of the fifteenth century for any discussion of sixteenth-century literature and of the relationship between the medieval and the early modern.
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
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