Stephen Greenblatt

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Stephen Jay Greenblatt (2004)

Stephen Jay Greenblatt (born November 7, 1943 in Boston , Massachusetts ) is an American literary scholar . He is considered a leading theorist of New Historicism .


Greenblatt studied at Pembroke College of the University of Cambridge and at Yale University , where in 1969 he graduated was. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley and is now a professor at Harvard University .

His most important field of work is the work of William Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Age . The theory of New Historicism , which he co-founded, tries to see the literary work in the mirror of its time. Greenblatt often uses contemporary sources in his publications, reads them parallel to the literary text and tries to reconstruct a piece of history. In 1995 Greenblatt proposed the renaming of New Historicism to Poetics of Culture . This should clarify his goal of distancing New Historicism from literary history in order to emphasize its cultural anthropological claims.

Greenblatt is the founder and co-editor of the literary journal Representations , the central organ of New Historicism. Greenblatt was temporarily president of the Modern Language Association (MLA). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987, the American Philosophical Society in 2007 , the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2008 and the British Academy in 2019 .

In 2011 Greenblatt received the National Book Award in the nonfiction category for The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (2011, about the beginning of the Renaissance ) and in 2012 the Pulitzer Prize . In this book, Greenblatt spread a “clichéd idea” of medieval monasticism, criticized the medieval historian Frank Rexroth . For 2016 Greenblatt was awarded the Holberg Prize .

Fonts (selection)

  • Three Modern Satirists: Waugh, Orwell, and Huxley. 1965.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh: The Renaissance Man and His Roles. 1973.
  • Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare. 1980.
  • Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England. 1988; German: Negotiations with Shakespeare. Interior views of the English Renaissance. Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-8031-3553-2 .
  • Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture. 1990; German: dirty rites. Reflections between worldviews. Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-8031-5133-3 .
  • Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World. 1992; dt .: Wonderful possessions. The invention of the foreign. Travelers and explorers. Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-8031-2296-1 .
  • Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies. 1992.
  • The Norton Shakespeare. 1997.
  • together with Catherine Gallagher: Practicing New Historicism. 2000.
  • What is literary history? Frankfurt am Main 2000, ISBN 3-518-12171-5 .
  • Hamlet in Purgatory. 2001.
  • Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. 2004; dt .: Will in the world. How Shakespeare became Shakespeare. Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-8270-0438-1 )
  • The Greenblatt Reader. 2005.
  • Shakespeare - Freedom, Beauty and the Limits of Hate. Frankfurt Adorno Lectures 2006. Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-518-58487-3 .
  • Cardenio. 2008.
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. Norton, 2011, ISBN 978-0-393-06447-6 ; German: The turn. How the renaissance began. Siedler, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-88680-848-9 .
  • The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve. Norton, 2017, ISBN 978-0-393-24080-1 ; German: The story of Adam and Eve. The most powerful myth of mankind. Siedler, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-8275-0041-0 .
  • Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics Norton, 2018, ISBN 9780393635751 ; German: The tyrant: Shakespeare's power studies for the 21st century settlers, 2018, ISBN 978-3-8275-0118-9 .


Individual evidence

  1. Member History: Stephen J. Greenblatt. American Philosophical Society, accessed August 28, 2018 .
  2. Academy Members. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed January 14, 2019 .
  3. F. Rexroth: Monastic and scholastic habitus. Observations on the relationship between two forms of life in the 12th century. In: Innovations through interpretation and design. Monasteries in the Middle Ages between the afterlife and the world. Regensburg 2014, p. 323.

Web links