Memory and Intertextuality in Eliot and Shakespeare

Talk by Raphael Lyne (University of Cambridge, UK). This lecture is connected to the researcher group "Literature, Cognition and Emotions". Everybody is welcome!

Raphael Lyne (University of Cambridge, UK).

In my book Memory and Intertextuality in Renaissance Literature (2016) I wrote about Shakespeare's use of Plutarch in a famously derivative passage in Antony and Cleopatra: 'the barge she sat in, like a burnished throne...'. I want to extend the scope of the book by turning to another famously derivative passage in T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land: 'the chair she sat in, like a burnished throne...'.

I aim to think further into the ways in which we can think about literature through memory, and memory through literature -- and further into both Shakespeare and Eliot. I will turn to Charles Fernyhough's Pieces of Light: The New Science of Memory (2013), which explores the reconstructive nature of remembering, to find terms and frameworks in which to consider intertextual reconstructions as things emerging in the text's present, not windows into its past.

While doing so, in response to Rita Felski's The Limits of Critique (2015), I will suggest some ways in which a cognitive approach to literature might offer an alternative to a 'hermeneutics of suspicion', stressing affinities and affordances, the collaborative work of making a play or a poem.

Published Oct. 7, 2016 12:00 PM - Last modified July 5, 2019 11:17 AM