Thinking Allegory Otherwise

Thinking Allegory Otherwise

Thinking Allegory Otherwise

Thinking Allegory Otherwise


Thinking Allegory Otherwise is a unique collection of essays by allegory specialists and other scholars who engage allegory in exciting new ways. The contributors include Jody Enders, Karen Feldman, Angus Fletcher, Blair Hoxby, Brenda Machosky, Catherine Gimelli Martin, Stephen Orgel, Maureen Quilligan, James Paxson, Daniel Selcer, Gordon Teskey, and Richard Wittman.

The essays are not limited to an examination of literary texts and works of art, and in fact focus on a wide range of topics that includes architecture, philosophy, theatre, science, and law. The book proves the truth of the statement that all language is allegorical, and more importantly it shows its consequences. To "think allegory otherwise" is to think otherwise- to rethink not only the idea of allegory itself, but also the law and its execution, the literality of figurative abstraction, and the figurations upon which even hard science depends.


Brenda Machosky

Embedded in museum displays, providing the structure for scientific thought, underlying the legal system, evading the hegemony of the idea, allegory is thriving in the twenty-first century. the call to “think allegory otherwise” initially led to a stimulating academic conference at Stanford University in February 2005. Some of the usual suspects were present, but there were also new voices, young scholars and academic veterans who were willing (and eager) to consider their work in an allegorical mode. the final result is this collection of essays, and our hope is to inspire broader and deeper engagements with this “protean device,” as Angus Fletcher so aptly named it. Even though the work contained herein has evolved and changed substantially since the conference, the title of the conference has been retained because “thinking allegory otherwise” remains the best descriptor of this limitless project.

Allegory is perhaps as old as language itself and certainly as variable as the languages and styles in which it has been written. the early readers of Homer allegorized the great epics. Philo of Alexandria adapted an allegorical system of interpretation for the Hebrew Bible. Augustine carefully . . .

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