March 5, 1998
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1.15 Pounds (US)
$40.00 USD
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 17, 2025
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v2.1 Reference

At Zero Point

Discourse, Culture, and Satire in Restoration England

At Zero Point presents an entirely new way of looking at Restoration culture, discourse, and satire. The book locates a rupture in English culture and epistemology not at the end of the eighteenth century (when it occurred in France) but at the end of the seventeenth century. Rose Zimbardo's hypothesis is based on Hans Blumenberg's concept of "zero point"—the moment when an epistemology collapses under the weight of questions it has itself raised and simultaneously a new epistemology begins to construct itself. Zimbardo demonstrates that the Restoration marked both the collapse of the Renaissance order and the birth of modernism (with its new conceptions of self, nation, gender, language, logic, subjectivity, and reality). Using satire as the site for her investigation, Zimbardo examines works by Rochester, Oldham, Wycherley, and the early Swift for examples of Restoration deconstructive satire that, she argues, measure the collapse of Renaissance epistemology. Constructive satire, as exemplified in works by Dryden, has at its discursive center the "I" from which all order arises to be projected to the external world. No other book treats Restoration culture or satire in this way.

About the Author

Rose A. Zimbardo is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita whose previous books include A Mirror to Nature: Transformations in Drama and Aesthetics, 1660-1732.


"Zimbardo invites readers to examine concepts of gender, nation, self, and language in the literature of the Restoration period and be persuaded that its satire is both deconstructive and constructive."—Choice

"Stimulating and persuasive."—In-Between

"Effectively challenges easy assumptions of the referentiality of Restoration satire and drama and stresses the literary context."—Journal of English and Germanic Philology

"Only rarely does such a radical reexamination of culture occur, and Zimbardo's At Zero Point brings new insights into both Renaissance and Restoration scholarship."—Rocky Mountain Review

"Zimbardo's point is that we, like Wycherley's generation, are at zero point, caught between a 'deconstructive' period—the 1960s, with their attack on 'the strangling social fictions of the establishment'—and a reactionary one—the 1990s, era of 'the new holy nationalism, conservatism, and racism.'"—Seventeenth-Century News

"An important and provocative book, with rewarding turns to authorship, gender, and nationalism."—Studies in English Literature

"One of the most ambitious books this year. . . . Stimulating and innovative, bringing an interesting mix of neglected and canonical texts to our attention."—Year's Work in English Studies

9780813120393 : at-zero-point-zimbardo
208 Pages
$40.00 USD
9780813185125 : at-zero-point-zimbardo
Electronic book text
March 17, 2025
$12.95 USD

Other Titles by Rose A. Zimbardo

A Mirror to Nature

Rose A. Zimbardo
Oct 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$25.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$45.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / General

The Spirit of the Oxford Movement

Christopher Dawson, edited by Kenneth L. Parker
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The Draining of the Fens

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Diary of a Disaster

Robin Higham
Dec 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback
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