No Island Is an Island

Four Glances at English Literature in a World Perspective

Carlo Ginzburg

Columbia University Press

No Island Is an Island

Google Preview

Pub Date: November 2000

ISBN: 9780231116282

128 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $50.00£40.00

No Island Is an Island

Four Glances at English Literature in a World Perspective

Carlo Ginzburg

Columbia University Press

In No Island Is an Island an internationally renowned historian approaches four works of English literature from unexpected angles. Following in the footsteps of a sixteenth-century Spanish bishop we gain a fresh view of Thomas More's Utopia. Comparing Bayle's Dictionary with Tristram Shandy we suddenly enter into Laurence Sterne's mind. A seemingly narrow dispute among Elizabethan critics for and against rhyme turns into an early debate on English national identity. Robert Louis Stevenson's story "The Bottle Imp" throws a new light on Bronislaw Malinowsky's attempts to discover meaning in the "kula" trading system among the Trobriand Islanders. Throughout, Ginzburg's inquiry is informed by his unique microhistorical sensibility, his attention to minute detail, and his extraordinary synthesizing imagination.
These complex, clever essays.... will appeal to scholars who choose to view literature and history in an international, comparative context. Library Journal
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Notes
Index
1. The Old World and the New Seen from Nowhere
2. Selfhood as Otherness: Constructing English Identity in the Elizabethan Age
3. A Search for Origins: Rereading Tristram Shandy
4. Tusitala and His Polish Reader

About the Author

Carlo Ginzburg's work has been published in eighteen languages. He teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is the Franklin D. Murphy Chair of Italian Renaissance Studies. His books in English include The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller, The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, and Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches'Sabbath.