Volpone's bastards : theorising Jonson's city comedy
Edinburgh University Press
Through studying Volpone’s three bastard children ̶ the dwarf, the androgyne and the eunuch ̶ from the theoretical argument of Freud, Lacan, Derrida and Foucault, this book discusses how Jonson’s comedies are built upon the tension between death, castration and nothingness on one hand, and the comic slippage of identities in the city on the other. This study understands Jonson, first and foremost, as a comedy writer, linking his work with modern film comedies such as the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks and Monty Python. It is a new approach to Jonsonian studies, responding to the current Marxist-Lacanian studies of literature, film and culture made popular by scholars such as Slavoj Žižek, Alenka Zupančič and Mladen Dolar. While the book pays close attention to the historical context of Jonson’s time, it brings him to the twenty-first century by discussing early modern comedies with modern critical theories and film.
Hui, I. (2018). Volpone's bastards: Theorising Jonson's city comedy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.