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Title page for ETD etd-07102013-142607

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Alijewicz, Michael James
Author's Email Address michael.j.alijewicz@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07102013-142607
Title "Nothing Is But What Is Not": Subjunctive Aesthetics in Early Modern England
Degree PhD
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kathryn Schwarz Committee Co-Chair
Leah Marcus Committee Co-Chair
Katherine Crawford Committee Member
Lynn Enterline Committee Member
  • early modern
  • narrative
  • architecture
Date of Defense 2013-06-04
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation analyzes the early modern emergence of a provisional narrative and imagistic mode which suspends the linear progress of time through past, present, and future as it evokes multiple and simultaneous probabilities. I call this probabilistic narrative-image the Subjunctive Aesthetic. As the term suggests, the form’s most defined linguistic markers are terms like “should,” “could,” and “might.” My analysis connects these grammatical markers to images of planning, especially building plans. The Aesthetic, in both text and image, moves in a ranging series of probable outcomes, as opposed to a single narrative plot. Plans—architectural ground plots, governmental plans, and diagrammed military tactics—typify the Aesthetic. But other forms, especially utopian pieces, grapple with probability and space. The image-narratives of the Subjunctive Aesthetic mediate between theory and history, the past and the future. Ultimately, the images and stories of the Subjunctive Aesthetic overlap and pivot between the practical and the imaginary.
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