Manual The Unimagined in the English Renaissance: Poetry and the Limits of Mimesis

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Formatting may be different depending on your device and eBook type. But poets themselves sometimes express doubt usually indirectly that poetic language has the capability or the purpose of revealing these images. This book examines description in Renaissance poetry, aiming to reveal its complexity and variability, its distinctiveness from prose description, and what it can tell us about Renaissance ways of thinking about the visible world and the poetic mind.


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Recent criticism has tended to address representation as a product of culture; The Unimagined in the English Renaissance argues to the contrary that attention to description as a literary phenomenon can complicate its cultural context by recognizing the persistent problems of genre and literary history. The book focuses on Sidney, Spenser, Donne, and Milton, who had very different aims as poets but shared a degree of skepticism about imagistic representation.

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For these poets, description can obscure as much as it makes visible, and can create whole categories of existence that are outside of visibility altogether. Andrew Mattison's The Unimagined in the English Renaissance: Poetry and the Limits of Mimesis argues that the purpose of mimesis overflows beyond mimesis into the unnamed and unseen. The purpose of representation is not to document something but to excite an image in someone else's mind.

Mattison is interested in images of scarcity in connection with Spenser's pastoral poetry as linked via melancholy to a dearth of poetic materials, and in the differential perceptions of the Bower of Bliss among its various describes in The Faerie Queene. Mattison is also interested in lyric closure and the ways in which poems refuse to close.

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Tanizaki in praise of shadows

This book is about description and image in Renaissance poetry, but focuses not on descriptions that present a vivid image to the reader's mind but on those that seem to avoid doing so. Against the ancient and still active tradition that poetry is painting in words, it argues that poetry is most poetic-most distinctive from other forms-when its goals are not visual. About The Author.

Andrew Mattison is associate professor of English at the University of Toledo. Select Parent Grandparent Teacher Kid at heart. Age of the child I gave this to:. Hours of Play:.

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Editorial Reviews Andrew Mattison's The Unimagined in the English Renaissance: Poetry and the Limits of Mimesis argues that the purpose of mimesis overflows beyond mimesis into the unnamed and unseen. The purpose of representation is not to document something but to excite an image in someone else's mind. Mattison is interested in images of scarcity in connection with Spenser's pastoral poetry as linked via melancholy to a dearth of poetic materials, and in the differential perceptions of the Bower of Bliss among its various describes in The Faerie Queene.