The Bellum Grammaticale and the Rise of European Literature

The Bellum Grammaticale and the Rise of European Literature

By: Erik Butler (author)Hardback

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The now-forgotten genre of the bellum grammaticale flourished in the sixteenth- and seventeenth centuries as a means of satirizing outmoded cultural institutions and promoting new methods of instruction. In light of works written in Renaissance Italy, ancien regime France, and baroque Germany (Andrea Guarna's Bellum Grammaticale [1511], Antoine Furetiere's Nouvelle allegorique [1658], and Justus Georg Schottelius' Horrendum Bellum Grammaticale [1673]), this study explores early modern representations of language as war. While often playful in form and intent, the texts examined address serious issues of enduring relevance: the relationship between tradition and innovation, the power of language to divide and unite peoples, and canon-formation. Moreover, the author contends, the "language wars" illuminate the shift from a Latin-based understanding of learning to the acceptance of vernacular erudition and the emergence of national literature.

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About Author

Erik Butler is Assistant Professor of German Studies at Emory University, where he also teaches comparative literature and film


Contents: Introduction; Civil war in the Republic of Letters; Frontiers and first causes: humanism, Renaissance, Reformation and the language war; The language war and absolutist eloquence; Greatness lost and regained: dialectic of the German language war; Conclusion: fighting words and the liberal arts; Bibliography; Index.

Product Details

  • publication date: 28/11/2010
  • ISBN13: 9781409401988
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 158
  • ID: 9781409401988
  • weight: 440
  • ISBN10: 1409401987

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