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Title: Baroque Remains
Authors: Rumsey-Merlan, James
Advisors: Brodsky, Claudia
Frey, Christiane
Contributors: Comparative Literature Department
Subjects: Comparative literature
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In this thesis I attempt to show that “Baroque” does not only designate a mood in literature, or an epoch. It also designates a kind of analytical category that long outlived the seventeenth century. Unlike the Baroque itself, this thesis is doggedly empirical. I start with a methodical analysis of various tropes in Hamlet, Richard Third and Life is a Dream. By this analysis, I show that the distinction between symbol and allegory drawn by twentieth century Baroquologists from Walter Benjamin to Paul de Man is of those Baroquologists and not of the Baroque itself. The second chapter is an attempt to describe symbol and allegory collapsed into the linguistic figure of an ellipse in two sonnets, the first by Góngora and the second by Severo Sarduy. That chapter is intended as a formal, ahistorical description of the ellipse as one of the guiding shapes of Baroque poetics. The third chapter is also elliptical, but entirely historical. It sees Calderón’s Life is a Dream lurching through the glass of Idealism into Grillparzer’s The Dream, A Life and from there into a pure alembic of Baroque atavism, Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s The Tower. The final chapter offers a view through the letter of the Baroque to its spirit, which is humanistic and off-kilter. I trace the trajectory of that spirit from the “Maese Pedro” section of Don Quixote to Hašek’s The Good Soldier Švejk.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Comparative Literature

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