Spenser's International Style

Spenser's International Style

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David Scott Wilson-Okamura
Cambridge University Press, 6/6/2013
EAN 9781107038202, ISBN10: 1107038200

Hardcover, 247 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.3 cm
Language: English

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.

the persistence of form
1. Why stanzas for epic?
2. Historical assessments
3. Flowery style
4. Triumph of the flowery style
5. Ornamentalism
6. Private virtues, comic style
Index of names, subjects, and sources.