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Language and the Decline of Magic: Epistemological Shifts in English Literature from Medieval to Modernist
Santana, Richard W.


This book explores the persistent power of word-magic and sacramental thought in English literature. The multi-disciplinary approach combines philosophical inquiry with the history of ideas and close critical analysis of three major, representative literary texts: play texts from the Corpus Christi Cycle, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and James Joyce’s Ulysses.


“This is an ambitious and wide-ranging account of three very different works of literature. Dr. Santana shows the subtle connections among these works while illuminating the perennial human yearnings they gratify and transform. This book is a fascinating analysis of the enduring magic of speech-acts in great works of literature.” – Professor Richard C. McCoy, Queens College and the Graduate Center, The City University of New York

Table of Contents

I. Language and the Decline of Magic
II. Corpus Christi Cycles: God Signified
III. John Skelton’s “Ware the Hawk” and Performative Utterance
IV. Shakespeare: The Body of the Time
V. Hamlet: When Are Unprepared and Look Not for It
VI. Consecrating the Word: Performative Use of Mass Elements in Ulysses

ISBN10:  0-7734-5862-X   ISBN13:  978-0-7734-5862-8    Pages:  260    Year:  2006   

Series: hors série Number: 0

Subject Area: British - Literature 

Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press

USA List Price: $139.95 UK List Price: £ 94.95  

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