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Defending Literature in Early Modern England : Renaissance Literary Theory in Social Context - Robert Matz

Defending Literature in Early Modern England

Renaissance Literary Theory in Social Context

Hardcover Published: 4th September 2000
ISBN: 9780521660808
Number Of Pages: 204

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Why was literature so often defended and defined in early modern England in terms of its ability to provide the Horatian ideal of both profit and pleasure? Robert Matz analyzes Renaissance literary theory in the context of social transformations of the period, focusing on conflicting ideas about gentility that emerged as the English aristocracy evolved from a feudal warrior class to a civil elite. Through close readings centered on works by Thomas Elyot, Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser, Matz argues that literature attempted to mediate a complex set of contradictory social expectations. His original study engages with important theoretical work such as Pierre Bourdieu's and offers a substantial critique of New Historicist theory. It challenges recent accounts of the power of Renaissance authorship, emphasizing the uncertain status of literature during this time of cultural change, and sheds light on why and how canonical works became canonical.

Industry Reviews

'Matz provides both insightful readings and an important rethinking of the social, intellectual, and literary contexts of the Renaissance's concern with the place and function of literature.' Early Modern Literary Studies 'Matz's readings are lucid and well grounded and they help to stimulate new thinking ...' Shakespeare Yearbook

Introduction: 'aut prodesse âÇ  aut delectare'
Recreating reading: Elyot's Boke Named the Governour
Heroic diversions: Sidney's Defence of Poetry
A 'gentle discipline': Spenser's Faerie Queene
Epilogue: from text to work?
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521660808
ISBN-10: 0521660807
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 204
Published: 4th September 2000
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.43

Earn 393 Qantas Points
on this Book