By Drew Daniel
This publication considers depression as an "assemblage," as a community of dynamic, interpretive relationships among folks, our bodies, texts, areas, buildings, and issues. In doing so, it components methods with previous interpretations of depression. Tilting the English Renaissance opposed to the current second, Daniel argues that the fundamental disciplinary pressure among medication and philosophy persists inside of modern debates approximately emotional embodiment.
To make this situation, the ebook binds jointly the work of Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver, the drama of Shakespeare, the prose of Burton, and the poetry of Milton. Crossing borders and classes, Daniel combines contemporary theories which have--until now--been considered as incongruous by way of their respective advocates.
Asking basic questions about how the event of emotion produces neighborhood, the publication can be of curiosity to students of early sleek literature, psychoanalysis, the affective flip, and continental philosophy.
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Extra resources for The Melancholy Assemblage: Affect and Epistemology in the English Renaissance
Albrecht Dürer, The Despairing, 1515. (Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA / Archives Charmet / TheBridgeman Art Library) Introduction 15 is today general agreement that this is Dürer’s fi rst experimental etching. 20 At once experimentally loose and iconographically loaded, Dürer’s beguilingly unstable image compacts affective flows and epistemological barriers into a sticky, self-differential engine of feeling and meaning. While I shall dwell at length upon the visual archive of melancholy in the next chapter, what interests me here is simply Dürer’s rearticulation of the theoretical implications already present in the homelier example of the Augsburg calendar image.
Far from an index of exceptional excellence or personal uniqueness, here melancholy is the most universal of affective positions, our common inheritance. Lomazzo’s text announces a basic protocol for melancholy representation already in wide circulation: figures adopting a highly specific, conventional posture in an isolated, natural setting. The stability of this protocol across centuries of Western artworks begs certain questions about the nature of melancholy and, indeed, of what we explain when we invoke a word like “convention” to describe the system of reference through which a body becomes a sign.
How did melancholy individuals show up for their early modern spectators and how do they show up for us today? To the extent that I am engaged in a redescription of the experience of witnessing melancholy, I am engaged in a phenomenological description of what it means to look at paintings and watch plays and read prose and see or hear an individual sitter, character, or narrator within those artistic forms as a melancholic. Here visual recognition, clinical observation, medical diagnosis, scholarly interpretation, and playgoing spectatorship all dovetail.