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Trials Of Authorship: Anterior Forms And Poetic Reconstruction From Wyatt To Shakespeare
by Jonathan V. Crewe
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For more than a decade, the English Renaissance has been the scene of trial for the critical methodologies of deconstruction, feminism, new historicism, psychoanalytic poststructuralism, and cultural studies. Jonathan Crewe argues that the commitment in the prevailing criticism to innovation, transgression, and radical change has increasingly obscured some powerfully conservative elements both in Renaissance culture and in these critical discourses themselves.
In a reading of the poets Wyatt, Surrey, and Gascoigne, and of the biographies of Thomas More and Cardinal Wolsey, Crewe focuses on the relatively stable poetic and cultural forms operative in the Renaissance. He argues that these established forms, which shape poetic composition, social interaction, and individual identity, are subject to only limited reconstruction by English authors in the sixteenth century. They both facilitate and limit literary and social expression and result in more sharply conflicted literary production than contemporary critics have been willing to acknowledge. Crewe concentrates on authors whose canonical status is somewhat precarious and intentionally shifts the emphasis away from the Elizabethan period and toward that of Henry VIII. Trials of Authorship redraws the existing picture of the English Renaissance in the sixteenth century.
From the Inside Flap
"This is a brilliant and challenging book, explicitly calling into question the recent desire to rewrite the Renaissance. No reader of it (of whatever critical disposition) will be able to ignore its claims--or to accept them easily, for to do so means nothing less than suspending (critical) business as usual."--Jonathan Goldberg, author of Voice Terminal Echo
From the Back Cover
"This is a brilliant and challenging book, explicitly calling into question the recent desire to rewrite the Renaissance. No reader of it (of whatever critical disposition) will be able to ignore its claims (or to accept them easily, for to do so means nothing less than suspending (critical) business as usual." (Jonathan Goldberg, author of Voice Terminal Echo)
About the Author
Jonathan Crewe is Professor of English at the University of Tulsa. He is the author of two previous books: Unredeemed Rhetoric: Thomas Nashe and the Scandal of Authorship (1982), and Hidden Designs: The Critical Profession and Renaissance Literature (1987).
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