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Chapter 3 - The Social Quotidian in John Manningham’s Diary

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 June 2023

Christopher D'Addario
Affiliation:
Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania
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Summary

This chapter examines the imaginative choices, and the implications of these choices, that John Manningham made as he created a record of his daily life, what we now call his Diary, relating these choices to the urban metaphysical style that I have traced in the previous chapters. Manninghams collection of notes as a whole does imply that he rejected a more pragmatic or moralistic approach to his recordkeeping, a rejection in line with Nashes turn away from humanist utility and towards contention and wit. In addition, once we view Manningham’s diary as a reordering of experience, we can identify within the selection and sequence of entries a particular orientation to the world, a processing of urban reality that aligns with the recreation of reality in the writings of his Inns peers. Not only might we see a rejection of humanist models of reading and writing in the diary, we can also clearly see Manningham embracing a skeptical, witty, and contentious style of being in the world. It is a style that is highly performative, just as Nashe’s prose and the Inns satires are; it is also a style that signals an awareness of the heterogeneity and fragmentary nature of urban experience.

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Urban Aesthetics in Early Modern London
The Invention of the Metaphysical
, pp. 144 - 172
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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