The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: The Renaissance (Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, Volume 3)

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: The Renaissance (Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, Volume 3)

Glyn P. Norton

Language: English

Pages: 693

ISBN: 2:00210833

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This volume provides the first comprehensive treatment of the issues that helped shape the way writers thought about literature from the late Middle Ages to the late seventeenth century. These issues touched almost every facet of Western intellectual endeavor, as well as the historical, cultural, social, scientific, and technological contexts in which that activity evolved

England and the Italian Renaissance

Silk Roads: The Asian Adventures of Clara and André Malraux

Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean

The Complete Odes and Epodes












and of the poetic idealization with which this underlying literariness was confederate is the transvaluation operated by and within the authorizing ut pictura trope itself. It is important to bear in mind in any attempt to assess ut pictura’s significance that, in enjoining poets to imitate painterly example, the theory inspired a practice that went quite the other way. ‘As painting, so poetry’ ultimately implied the reverse, ‘as poetry, so painting’, and it is to this reversal that we owe the

prose fiction reverberated during the period was that of Italy, most especially the work of Boccaccio. In a sense, the scope of Boccaccio’s œuvre, ranging from his high-minded Latin treatises, moralistic and didactic in tone, to the Decameron, escapist in its adoption of rhetoric and aesthetics as ends in themselves, helped set the terms of the literary-critical debate that would invigorate theories of prose fiction in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The litmus test for fiction –

therefore of its particular form which is not to be found in earlier Terence-centred discussion of comedy.20 Robortello’s ‘trattatelo’ on comedy served as an example of how Aristotle’s qualitative analysis of tragedy could be progressively extended to define both traditional as well as modern genres ignored by Aristotle. Thus from the 1550s to the 1570s one finds such codifications of modern genres like the romanzo and the novella, but also of traditional genres disregarded by Aristotle, like the

reclassified the disciplines in his Examen de ingenios para las ciencias (1575). According to Huarte, every power of the mind mirrors a diCerent combination of humours, and each governs a particular art or science. Memory governs theology, cosmography, law, and the arts of language; understanding governs logic and natural and moral philosophy; imagination governs music, eloquence, and poetry, ‘all the Arts and Sciences, which consist in figure, correspondencie, harmonie, and proportion’.10 Though

Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press, 2008 TCHC13 13/4/06 12:36 PM Page 153 Humanist education 153 the works set for literary imitation is not likely to conclude that the correlation between good Latin and good morals is as obvious as so many splendidly vague and viciously circular show-pieces of self-congratulatory Renaissance rhetoric would have us believe. Although the more speculative and complex modes of medieval and Neoplatonist allegorical interpretation remained a

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