Robert Burton and the Transformative Powers of Melancholy - Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity (Hardback)Asst. Prof. Stephanie Shirilan (author), Professor Mary Thomas Crane (series editor), Professor Henry S. Turner (series editor)
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Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 230
Weight: 567 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 14 mm
"Shirilan's book thus successfully performs a kind of Burtonian reading of the Anatomy, one that listens just as much to his rhetorical style and mode of speaking as it does to the content of what he says. By playing his bibliographic game of citations, she provides a wealth of insight into the literary, philosophical, scientific, social and theological contexts that inform the Anatomy, but perhaps even more significantly she champions an alternative mode of scholarship at least partially inspired by Burton, one that is not afraid or ashamed of suggestiveness and subjectivity."
- Daniel Gabelman, Eastbourne College, in British Society for Literature and Science, 2017
"An intriguing element of this book is its mimetic quality. In attempting to recuperate Burton by way of a complex yet sensitive interpretation, Shirilan rather does for him what he did for the idea of melancholy. She models the hyper-bibliographical and ludic lexical work that Burton requires, a style of reading surely as remarkable as the cento is a style of writing, one that obliges us "to be entertained and distracted from ruminating preoccupations, to be busied for seemingly endless stretches of prose and time" (183). Though it is unclear to me whether the imitation is deliberate, it underscores, wonderfully, that the Anatomy resists summarization, laughingly confounds the heresy of paraphrase; to engage with it fully means to write it anew."
- Suparna Roychoudhury, Mount Holyoke College
"Whether excavating histories of language or closely reading a cleverly revised reference, Shirilan's treatment of Burton is both interesting and deeply interested - both a critical examination of the Anatomy and a sympathetic aspiration toward the passionate spirit that animates it."
- Jessica Tabak, Providence College