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Pastoral and the Poetics of Self-Contradiction
Theocritus to Marvell


  • Date Published: December 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521034616

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About the Authors
  • Traditionally, critics of the English Renaissance have viewed pastoral as a static, idealizing genre, aimed at the recreation of an idyllic past. More recently, these idealizing humanist approaches have been forcefully challenged by studies written from historicist perspectives. In Pastoral and the Poetics of Self-Contradiction, first published in 1995, Judith Haber complicates the conventional opposition between humanist and historicist criticism by examining the ways in which pastoral poets themselves interrogate the contradictory relations inherent in their genre. Haber explores problems of representation, self-representation, and imitation in classical and Renaissance pastoral, focusing on texts by Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney and Marvell. Her approach revises current understanding of pastoral as a genre, and raises wider questions about the place of literature in society and the difficulties involved in constituting literary traditions.

    • Provocative readings of important texts by Sidney and Marvell
    • Challenges both traditional and recent theories about pastoral
    • Contributes to current debates in Renaissance studies, and more broadly about the place of literature in society
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521034616
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 139 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.314kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Texts and abbreviations
    Introduction: 'Remedies themselves complain': pastoral poetry, pastoral criticism
    1. Bringing it all back home: bucolic and heroic in Theocritus' Idylls
    2. Si numquam fallit imago: Virgil's revision of Theocritus
    3. Pastime and passion: the impasse in the Old Arcadia
    4. Complaints themselves remedy: Marvell's lyrics as problem and solution
    Epilogue: farewell to pastoral: The Shepherd's Week
    Works cited

  • Author

    Judith Haber, Tufts University, Massachusetts

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