Towards a Cultural Philology: "Phedre" and the Construction of 'Racine'

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 1999-07-31
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Amy Wygant reads Racine's Phedre (1677) through an analysis of its seventeenth-century cultural contexts and a consideration of its subsequant reception history. She explores the construction of the Racinian language as 'musical', the poetics of the Racinian gaze, and Racine's labrynthine eros of memory and forgetting. Reference is made to Lully's operas, the battle between the advocates of colour and the champions of drawing in the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, and Le Notre's centreless garden labyrinth at Versailles. These close textual and contextual studies relate the detail of the tragedy to the conceptual sweep of seventeenth-century absolutism. Wygant's interdisciplinary study draws on the music history as well as on emblematics, the history of the formal garden and the arts of memory. Racine's great theonody, the recit de Theramene, is shown as representative of expressions of loss which lie at the root of early modern literature.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xii
Introduction: Racine enracine 1(9)
Music: Daughter of Minos and Pasiphae
Design: Death of Hippolytus
Garden: Memory in the Labyrinth
Sublime: Theramene and the Wave
Works Cited 146(11)
Index 157

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