Translating Investments: Metaphor and the Dynamics of Cultural Change in Tudor-Stuart England

Translating Investments: Metaphor and the Dynamics of Cultural Change in Tudor-Stuart England

Judith H. Anderson

Language: English

Pages: 339

ISBN: B01K3OJANK

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Translating Investments: Metaphor and the Dynamics of Cultural Change in Tudor-Stuart England

Judith H. Anderson

Language: English

Pages: 339

ISBN: B01K3OJANK

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The title Translating Investments, a manifold pun, refers to metaphor and clothing, authority and interest, and trading and finance. Translation, Latin translatio, is historically a name for metaphor, and investment, etymologically a reference to clothing, participates both in the complex symbolism of early modern dress and in the cloth trade of the period. In this original and wide-ranging book, Judith Anderson studies the functioning of metaphor as a constructive force within language, religious doctrine and politics, literature, rhetoric, and economics during the reigns of the Tudors and early Stuarts. Invoking a provocative metaphorical concept from Andy Clark's version of cognitive science, she construes metaphor itself as a form of scaffolding fundamental to human culture. A more traditional and controversial conception of such scaffolding is known as sublation-Hegel's Aufhebung, or raising,as the philosophers Jacques Derrida and Paul Ricoeur have understood this term. Metaphor is the agent of raising, or sublation, and sublation is inseparable from the productive life of metaphor, as distinct in its death in code or clich. At the same time, metaphor embodies the sense both of partial loss and of continuity, or preservation, also conveyed by the term Aufhebung. Anderson's study is simultaneously critical and historical. History and the theory are shown to be mutually enlightening, as are a wide variety of early modern texts and their specific cultural contexts. From beginning to end, this study touches the present, engaging questions about language, rhetoric, and reading within post-structuralism and neo-cognitivism. It highlights connections between intellectual problems active in our own culture and those evident in the earlier texts, controversies, and crises Anderson analyzes. In this way, the study is bifocal, like metaphor itself. While Anderson's overarching concern is with metaphor as a creative exchange, a source of code-breaking conceptual power, each of her chapters focuses on a different but related issue and cultural sector. Foci include the basic conditions of linguistic meaning in the early modern period, instantiated by Shakespeare's plays and related to modern theories of metaphor; the role of metaphor in the words of eucharistic institution under Archbishop Cranmer; the play of metaphor and metonymy in the writings of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin and in John Donne's Devotions; the manipulation of these two tropes in the politics of the controversy over ecclesiastical vestments and in its treatment by John Foxe; the abuse of figuration in the house of Edmund Spenser's Busirane, where catachresis, an extreme form of metaphor, is the trope du jour; the conception of metaphor in the Roman rhetorics and their legacy in the sixteenth century; and the concept of exchange in the economic writing of Gerrard de Malynes, merchant and metaphorist in the reigns of Elizabeth and James. What emerges at the end of this book is a heightened critical sense of the dynamic of metaphor in cultural history.

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metaphor were not already suggestive enough in relation to the function the reformers assigned to the metaphoric elements of bread and wine, it becomes even more so: ‘‘it is as though the tropes gave to discourse a quasibodily externalization,’’ one that is there and not there. ‘‘By providing a kind of figurability to the message, the tropes [figures, after all, of speech] make discourse appear.’’62 The Reformation commonplace that the sacraments are ‘‘words visible,’’ ‘‘speakyng signes’’ that

more fully to address. The mottoes (or cumulative motto) Spenser’s Britomart reads over the doors in Busirane’s House, ‘‘Be bold, be bold, be not too bold,’’ weaves in and out of this chapter in connection with the recurring Latin word audacia, ‘‘boldness,’’ in traditional discussions of tropology. Derived from rhetorical tradition, an association of boldness with catachrestic metaphor wryly informs what Britomart sees. In chapters 6 and 7, rhetoric clearly emerges as a form and a force shaping

interpretative tradition’s, or our own? Going beyond the possibilities Wofford endorses, I would not exclude any of these, and the ecphrasis of the tapestry itself explicitly invites them in describing Jove’s rape of Leda, breaking into apostrophe in the manner of Ovid to do so: O wondrous skill, and sweet wit of the man, That her in daffadillies sleeping made, From scorching heat her daintie limbes to shade: Whiles the proud Bird ruffing his fethers wyde, And brushing his faire brest, did her

metonymy, and catachresis in the preceding sentence (xxxix.157 and n. 301, above). As for Crassus’ awareness of the possibility of separating catachresis, broadly understood, from metaphor and his apparent lack of interest in doing so, a passage cited earlier is further pertinent. In it, Crassus mentions the bolder (audaciores) metaphors that call stylistic brilliance into place. If audacia, ‘‘boldness,’’ is taken as another term for abusio or catachresis, alternative terminology the rhetorical

statue), meaning ‘‘to set up,’’ ‘‘to put,’’ or ‘‘to consider,’’ and to my mind it offers no further complication, until and unless we enter an iconoclastic phase, as eventually happens, for example, in the English Renaissance. Back in the text, Quintilian next praises ‘‘a bold and almost hazardous metaphor (audaci et proxime periculum translatione),’’ such as ‘‘ ‘Araxes’ flood that scorns a bridge’ ’’ and thereby again appears to associate significative force that is catachrestic with metaphor

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