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Conversing by Signs: Poetics of Implication in Colonial New England Culture
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Conversing by Signs: Poetics of Implication in Colonial New England Culture

3.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  9 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
The people of colonial New England lived in a densely metaphoric landscape - a world where familiars invaded bodies without warning, witches passed with ease through locked doors, and houses blew down in gusts of angry providential wind. Meaning, Robert St. George argues, was layered, often indirect and inextricably intertwined with memory, apprehension, and imagination. B ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 26th 1998 by University of North Carolina Press (first published May 1998)
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Oct 08, 2014 Samuel rated it liked it
"Attacking Houses"

On August 14, 1764, Andrew Oliver, the resident Stamp Master, was hung in effigy and his house was dismantled by an angry mob. Robert Blair St. George charts the reasons for why these symbolic acts took place and what they mean(t). By destroying the house, the mob was able to send a clear message that they disapproved of the occupant's actions without actually hurting him (in fact he was warned before the violence occurred so that he would vacate the premises). Overall, the sym
Dec 26, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it
Robert St. George's illustrative book delineating his "poetics of implication" is both lavish and interesting. His chapters are at times tediously long and some of his connections are too thin, but it is nevertheless a worthwhile read for anyone interested in early American culture.
Feb 05, 2012 Michelle rated it liked it
Robert Blair St. George's Conversing by Signs: Poetics of Implication was academically dense but full of well-researched and theorized and very thought-provoking ideas about the mental world of Colonial Americans. One of the hardest things to understand about the past is the ways in which the world of symbols and associations resonated with people; rarely are these things commented on directly, so knowing the 'mind' of the past by their documentary history and material culture alone will always ...more
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