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In the grip of Minos : confessional discourse in Dante, Corneille, and Racine

Author: Matthew Senior
Publisher: Columbus : Ohio State University Press, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Tracing the history of confession from the Desert Fathers through the Lateran decree (1215) and the Council of Trent (1543-63), Matthew Senior examines the significance of these events and the role of confessional discourse in works by Dante, Corneille, and Racine.
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Senior, Matthew, 1952-
In the grip of Minos.
Columbus : Ohio State University Press, ©1994
(OCoLC)625327952
Named Person: Pierre Corneille; Dante Alighieri; Jean Racine; Pierre Corneille; Dante Alighieri; Jean Racine; Pierre Corneille; Dante Alighieri; Jean Racine; Jean Racine; Dante, Alighieri.; Pierre Corneille; Dante, Alighieri; Corneille, Pierre <1606-1684> - Religion.; Dante Alighieri <1265-1321> - Influence.; Racine, Jean <1639-1699> - Religion.; Pierre Corneille; Jean Racine
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Matthew Senior
ISBN: 0814206379 9780814206379
OCLC Number: 29954089
Description: xi, 243 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction: Paleur janseniste: Religion, Literature, Discourse --
1. In the Grip of Minos, at the Gates of Purgatory --
2. The Age of the Confessional --
3. A coeur ouvert: Heroic Avowal in Corneille --
4. Un aveu si funeste: Tragic Avowal in Racine --
Conclusion: Confessions and Communities.
Responsibility: Matthew Senior.

Abstract:

Tracing the history of confession from the Desert Fathers through the Lateran decree (1215) and the Council of Trent (1543-63), Matthew Senior examines the significance of these events and the role of confessional discourse in works by Dante, Corneille, and Racine.

Using a multidisciplinary approach, Senior focuses his study on Minos, the legendary king of Crete and judge of both Homer's and Virgil's underworlds. Dante transforms Minos into a demon who forces the souls of the damned to confess as they enter the underworld; likewise, the ritual of confession opens the gates of Purgatory. Dante's afterlife, according to Senior, is an extrapolation of the Lateran decree, a total vision of humanity governed and punished by its own verity.

Following Trent, a new mode of confession makes its appearance, a baroque discourse in which "the heart speaks to the heart." Senior argues that Corneille similarly creates a new kind of hero who distinguishes himself as much by the confessional trial of self-statement as by his military exploits. In the work of Racine, Senior notes, Minos appears again, tormenting the conscience of Phedre.

Throughout Senior's challenging inquiry, major canonical texts are illuminated by the contemporary debate about the modern equivalent of confession - psychoanalysis. Senior engages the work of Freud, Lacan, Foucault, and the Lacanian feminists in an attempt to establish the religious and literary genealogy of psychoanalysis and to explore its potential as a critical tool and, more important, its ability to bind and loose men and women.

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