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Why did Spenser write his epic, The Faerie Queene, in stanzas instead of a classical meter or blank verse? Why did he affect the vocabulary of medieval poets such as Chaucer? Is there, as centuries of readers have noticed, something lyrical about Spenser's epic style, and if so, why? In this accessible and wide-ranging study, David Scott Wilson-Okamura reframes these questions in a larger, European context. The first full-length treatment of Spenser's poetic style in more than four decades, it shows that Spenser was English without being insular. In his experiments with style, Spenser faced many of the same problems, and found some of the same solutions, as poets writing in other languages. Drawing on classical rhetoric and using concepts that were developed by literary critics during the Renaissance, this is an account of long-term, international trends in style, illustrated with examples from Petrarch, Du Bellay, Ariosto, and Tasso.Read more
- Addresses key questions about Spenser's style in the context of European traditions of poetic writing and prosody
- Offers a fresh approach to aesthetics, reframing technical questions to offer an alternative to close reading
- Emphasizes international trends and will appeal to scholars of comparative literature and Romance languages, as well as English literature
- Winner of the 2015 Isabel MacCaffrey Award, International Spenser Society
Reviews & endorsements
"Scholars will be most appreciative of this first analysis of Spenser's style in several decades, and advanced undergraduates will find it eminently readable and understandable … Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."
B. E. Brandt, ChoiceSee more reviews
"… can be read with both profit and pleasure by anyone interested in the practice and theory of poetry."
Jean R. Brink, The Sixteenth Century Journal
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- Date Published: October 2015
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107559431
- length: 250 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
- weight: 0.36kg
- contains: 2 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: the persistence of form
1. Why stanzas for epic?
2. Historical assessments
3. Flowery style
4. Triumph of the flowery style
6. Private virtues, comic style
Index of names, subjects, and sources.
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