While authors in early modern England were gaining new authority - legally, economically and symbolically - Renaissance readers also were expected to participate in and make use of an author's writings. In this book, Stephen B. Dobranski examines how the seventeenth-century phenomenon of printing apparently unfinished works ushered in a new emphasis on authors' responsibility for written texts while it simultaneously reinforced Renaissance practices of active reading. Bringing together textual studies, literary criticism and book trade history, Dobranski provides fresh insight into Renaissance constructions of authorship and offers discerning interpretations of publications by Sir Philip Sidney, Ben Jonson, John Donne, Robert Herrick and John Milton. The omissions in all these writers' works provide a unique window into English literary history: through these blank spaces we glimpse the tension between implication and inference, between writers' intentions and readers' responses and between an individual author and a collaborative community.Read more
- Dobranski analyses the interrelationship of authors' and readers' authority in five case-studies: Sidney, Jonson, Donne, Herrick and Milton
- This book is the first to examine the seventeenth-century phenomenon of publishing incomplete works, with gaps left for the reader to fill
- Dobranski situates early modern authors and readers in their changing historical contexts
- This book has received the 2005 South Atlantic Modern Language Association's Studies Award for the best scholarly book published in English.
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- Date Published: September 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521120180
- length: 244 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.36kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Note on the texts
List of abbreviations
Introduction: Renaissance omissions
1. Reading and writing
2. Re-writing Sidney's Arcadia
3. Jonson's labors lost
4. The incomplete Poems of John Donne
5. Herrick unbound
6. Milton's missing links
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