- The Crisis of the Baroque
- Decentering the European Imaginary: A Baroque Taste for India
- Line and Trait of the Baroque River
- Water in The Baroque Garden
- Fashioning the Baroque Male
- Antinomies of the Twenty-First-Century Neobaroque: Cormac McCarthy and Demian Schopf
- The Automaton
- The Baroque City
- Surface and Substance: Baroque Dress in Spain and France, 1600–1720
- Baroque Dance
- Ibero-American Architecture and Urbanism
- Baroque Organ Music
- Ottoman Baroque
- Baroque Opera
- Machine Plays
- The Organization of Knowledge from Ramus to Diderot
- Experience and Knowledge in the Baroque
- Conversation and Civility
- The Philosopher’s Baroque: Benjamin, Lacan, Deleuze
- The Spanish Baroque Novel
- Baroque Tragedy
- The Baroque as a Literary Concept
- Baroque Discourse
- Classical Defense of the Baroque
- The Baroque and Philosophy
- The Baroque as Anti-Classicism: The French Case
- Is There a Baroque Style of Preaching in Early Modern France?
- Prayer, Meditation, and Retreat
- Baroque Sexualities
- Paradoxes: Baroque Science
- Baroque Diplomacy
- The End of Witch-Hunting
- Time and Chronometry
- Court Spectacle and Entertainment
- The Baroque State
Abstract and Keywords
This entry describes how discourse in the Baroque period variously functioned as a sophisticated, often subtle, and sometimes exorbitant means of mediating between words and things, between emergent, conflicted selves, and a world perceived as illusory. Such discourse tended to prize ingenuity, learning, difficulty, and novelty. Comprising many nonfictional prose genres, from the essay to the aphorism, Baroque discourse saw the cultivation of pointed, conceited, paratactic, and digressive prose styles. Vehicles for retrospective and prospective, deductive, and inductive modes of thought, such styles drew on the classical and humanist legacy even as they helped writers express novel cultural, political, epistemological, and metaphysical concerns. Such heterogeneity aside, exemplary writers such as Burton, Browne, Marino, Balzac, Pascal, Kircher, Leibniz, Quevedo, Gracián, Sor Juana, and Sigüenza y Góngora, all cultivated versions of a prosaic “I,” a self that tried to negotiate coincidentia oppositorum and mediate information overload.
Christopher D. Johnson, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Arizona State University, is the author of Hyperboles: The Rhetoric of Excess in Baroque Literature and Thought(2010) and translator of Selected Poetry of Francisco de Quevedo (2009). His article "Configuring the Baroque: Warburg and Benjamin," in Culture, Theory and Critique 57.2 (2016): 1-24," reconsiders the Baroque from the perspective of two exemplary twentieth-century Kulturwissenschaftler. Alternatively, his forthcoming book with Princeton University Press, offers an account of Baroque verbal and visual expression that traces networks of relations between authors, artists, texts, artefacts, contexts, topoi, and ideas.
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