Epicurean Detective. Stephen Greenblatt’s «The Swerve: How the World Became Modern»

Kovalev, V. A. Sledstvie ob Epikure: Retsenziya na monografiyu Stivena Grinblatta «Renessans: U istokov sovremennosti» [Epicurean Detective. Stephen Greenblatt’s «The Swerve: How the World Became Modern»], in: Proslogion: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Social History and Culture, 2018. Vol. 4 (1). P. 169180.

Viktor Aleksandrovich Kovalev, doctor of History, assistant professor, Saint-Petersburg State University of the Humanities and Social Sciences (192238, Rossiya, Sankt-Peterburg, ulitsa Fuchika, 15)

Language: Russian

In the review of Stephen Greenblatt’s «The Swerve: How the World Became Modern» criticist argues that many of the monograph’s features are linked with neohistoricism pattern. It is apparent because author is one of neohistoricism patriarchs. Emphasis on the political and ideological aspect of historical events along with projection of author’s political prejudices frames all the scheme of the text. Reviewer points that the main theme of the monograph is author’s denying of postmodern concept of an «author’s death». Neither an author, nor the idea can not die, argues Greenblatt, because all things forgotten can return in the history of thoughts. Exemplified by the history of Epicureanism, this thesis runs like a golden thread through all substance of investigation. Along with this filled with humanistic pathos idea the key question of the scale of influence of the elite book-learned culture on the popular one remains unanswered by Greenblatt. Author sophisticatedly intertwines the storyline of Epicurean philosophy invention, oblivion and rediscovering in the Renaissance with historical, bookish, dramaturgical and even with his own biographical facts and events. But sometimes, as reviewer points, Greenblatt is unfair to the characters of his text blaming them in ideological imperfection. Also due to the concept of ideas’ immortality, he remains undiscovered a great part of historical process.

Key Words: neohistoricism, history of literature, the Renaissance, history of thoughts, Neomarxism, the early Modern history, history of the Middle ages, history of philosophy

URL: http://proslogion.ru/41-kovalev/

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