Cambridge.University.Press.Defending.Literature.in.Early.Modern.England.Renaissance.Literary.Theory.in.Social.Context.Sep.2000.pdf

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Cambridge.University.Press.Defending.Literature.in.Early.Modern.England.Renaissance.Literary.Theory.in.Social.Context.Sep.2000. This page intentionally left blankWhy was literature so often defended and defined in early modernEngland in terms of its ability to provide the Horatian ideal of both profitand pleasure? Robert Matz analyzes Renaissance literary theory in thecontext of social transformations of the period, focusing on conflictingideas about gentility that emerged as the English aristocracy evolved froma feudal warrior class to a civil elite. Through close readings centered onworks by Thomas Elyot, Philip Sidney, and Edmund Spenser, Matz arguesthat literature attempted to mediate a complex set of contradictory socialexpectations. His original study engages with important theoretical worksuch as Pierre Bourdieu’s and offers a substantial critique of NewHistoricist theory. It challenges recent accounts of the power ofRenaissance authorship, emphasizing the uncertain status of literatureduring this time of cultural change, and sheds light on why and howcanonical works became canonical.  is Assistant Professor of English at George MasonUniversity.Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture 37Defending Literature in Early Modern EnglandCambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and CultureGeneral editorSTEPHEN ORGELJackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Humanities, Stanford UniversityEditorial boardAnne Barton, University of CambridgeJonathan Dollimore, University of YorkMarjorie Garber, Harvard UniversityJonathan Goldberg, Johns Hopkins UniversityNancy Vickers, Bryn Mawr CollegeSince the 1970s there has been a broad and vital reinterpretation of thenature of literary texts, a move away from formalism to a sense ofliterature as an aspect of social, economic, political and cultural history.While the earliest New Historicist work was criticized for a narrow andanecdotal view of history, it also served as an important stimulus forpost-structuralist, feminist, Marxist and psychoanalytical work, whichin turn has increasingly informed and redirected it. Recent writing onthe nature of representation, the historical construction of gender and ofthe concept of identity itself, on theatre as a political and economicphenomenon and on the ideologies of art generally, reveals the breadthof the field. Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture isdesigned to offer historically oriented studies of Renaissance literatureand theatre which make use of the insights afforded by theoreticalperspectives. The view of history envisioned is above all a view of ourown history, a reading of the Renaissance for and from our own time.Recent titles include29.Dorothy Stephens The limits of eroticism in post-Petrarchannarrative: conditional pleasure from Spenser to Marvell30.Celia R. Daileader Eroticism on the Renaissance stage:transcendance, desire, and the limits of the visible31.Theodore B. Leinwand Theatre, finance and society in early modernEngland32.Heather Dubrow Shakespeare and domestic loss: forms ofdeprivation, mourning, and recuperation33.David M. Posner The performance of nobility in early modernEuropean literature34.Michael C. Schoenfeldt Bodies and selves in early modern England:physiology and inwardness in Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, andMilton35.Lynn Enterline The rhetoric of the body from Ovid to Shakespeare36.Douglas A. Brooks From playhouse to printing house: drama andauthorship in early modern EnglandA complete list of books in the series is given at the end of the volume.Defending Literature in EarlyModern EnglandRenaissance Literary Theory in Social ContextRobert MatzAssistant Professor of EnglishGeorge Mason University         The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom  The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, AustraliaRuiz de Alarcón 13, 28014 Madrid, SpainDock House, The Waterfront, Cape Town 8001, South Africahttp://www.cambridge.orgFirst published in printed format ISBN 0-521-66080-7 hardbackISBN 0-511-03338-9 eBookRobert Matz 20042000(Adobe Reader)©For my parents, Joseph and Lorraine MatzPastance with good companyI love and shall until I dieGrudge who will, but none deny,So God be pleased this life will IFor my pastance,Hunt, sing and dance,My heart is set,All goodly sportTo my comfortWho shall me let?Henry VIII, “Pastance with good company”(from Williams, Henry VIII and His Court, p. 34) . MasonUniversity. Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture 3 7Defending Literature in Early Modern England Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature. volume. Defending Literature in EarlyModern EnglandRenaissance Literary Theory in Social ContextRobert MatzAssistant Professor of EnglishGeorge Mason University 
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