Gaudio 2013

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Gaudio, Michael. "Looking as a Scholar, Thinking like a Rattle Head: On William Laud, Little Gidding, the Law, and the Gospel." Oxford Art Journal 36.3 (2013): 345-68.

Laud -- caught with "popish" pictures; claims to own them in order to refute them

Laud's concordance is typological -- have to read like the janus-faced rattle-head

importance of Aaron to Laud, vestments -- "beauty in holiness"

"Like the tree that is both dead and living, the printed image understood as a ‘type or figure’ (the Collets use this language on the title page to Laud’s book) wavers between its reality as historical event and its ongoing presence in God’s (always mysterious) providence; its essence lies in this in-betweenness. 56 Figural meaning is made all the more tentative in Laud’s harmony by the removal of prints from their original contexts so that the beholder is very much aware of their fragmentary nature. Indeed there is a certain irony in calling this book a ‘harmony’, since its many pasted fragments of image and text really stage the atomised conditions of a print culture in which the interpretation of scripture was anything but unified. If we approach Laud’s book through the lens of Auerbach’s concept of figura, then its ‘content’ is less the harmony of scripture than the very problem of creating harmony. The Little Gidding concordances have been described, in a phrase often repeated in the scholarly literature, as the ‘sublimation of scissors and paste’. 57 The phrase nicely captures the idea of the dematerialisation of the Collets’ labours into an idealised project of scriptural order; but evaluated on such terms the Little Gidding harmonies must be judged a failure, because they do not sublimate. ‘Harmony’ is not an accomplished fact in these volumes but an on-going activity, a way of thinking with scissors and paste." (365)