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Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The Cabinet of Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe: An Essay in the Biographical Distillation of Affinities
Author(s): Jackson Williams, Kelsey
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Date Deposited: 9-May-2023
Citation: Jackson Williams K (2023) The Cabinet of Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe: An Essay in the Biographical Distillation of Affinities. <i>Rethinking History</i>.
Abstract: This article draws on the concept of the "cabinet of curiosities", Aby Warburg's Mnemosyne atlas, and Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project, to articulate a shared process of "distillation of affinities" whereby disparate items, texts, images, and concepts are juxtaposted together to generate rich and unexpected meanings which do not inhere in the chosen items separately. It then proposes that such a process could be applied to the practice of historical biography, explores the implications of this, and presents a proof of concept in the form of a "life-cabinet" of the Scottish antiquary and collector Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe (1781-1851). Sharpe was an eccentric by any standard and his "Hand of a Murderer, Preserved", punning calling card (a C#), intimate sketches, and odd books offer a rich field for this essay.
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Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming

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