The Machine in the Text: Science and Literature in the Age of Shakespeare and Galileo

The Machine in the Text: Science and Literature in the Age of Shakespeare and Galileo

By: Howard Marchitello (author)Hardback

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The reassessment of the 'two cultures' of art and science has been one of the most urgent areas of research in literary and historical studies over the last fifteen years. The early modern period is an ideal site for such an investigation precisely because of the pre-disciplinary nature of its science. The central focus of The Machine in the Text falls upon the wide-ranging practices of what will come to be called 'science' prior to its separation into a realm of its own, one of the legacies of the renaissance and its encounter with modernity. This book offers a new critical examination of the complex and mutually-sustaining relationship between literature and science - and, more broadly, art and nature - in the early modern period. Redefining literature and art as knowledge-producing practices and, at the same time, recasting the practices of emergent science as imaginative and creative and literary, Howard Marchitello argues for a more complex understanding of early modern culture in which the scientific can be said to produce the literary and the literary can be said to produce the scientific. Drawing upon recent work in the field of science studies and focusing on selected works of major writers of the period - including Bacon, Donne, Galileo, and Shakespeare, among others - he recovers a range of early modern discursive and cultural practices for a new account of the linked histories of science and literature.

About Author

Howard Marchitello is the author of Narrative and Meaning in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 1997) and editor of Thomas Middleton's The Mayor of Queenborough (Globe Quartos/Nick Hern Books, 2004) and What Happens to History: The Renewal of Ethics in Contemporary Thought (Routledge, 2001). He has published articles on Shakespeare, early modern garden theory, science studies, and early modern travel writing in English Literary History, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, New Centennial Review, and English Literary Renaissance, as well as book chapters in Printing and Parenting in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2005), and Reimagining Shakespeare for Children and Young Adults (Routledge, 2002). He serves as Associate Editor of the South Central Review (published by Johns Hopkins University Press) and a member of the editorial board of the Renaissance section of Literature Compass (Blackwell).


1. Introduction: Science Studies and Early Modern Literature and Culture ; 2. Gray's Inn Revels, 1594-95 ; 3. Hamlet's Machine ; 4. Galileo's Telescope ; 5. John Donne's New Science Writing ; 6. Nature's Art ; 7. Time's Arrow ; 8. Conclusion: Being Archaic

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780199608058
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 250
  • ID: 9780199608058
  • weight: 524
  • ISBN10: 0199608059

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