By Raphael Falco

This research explores the way within which English Renaissance poets invented a poetic family tree. The identify comes from Franciscus Junius, who in 1638 used the time period "conceived presence" to explain the traditional masters whose work have been misplaced yet who still remained vital forebears of the culture of visible art.

Raphael Falco applies the suggestion of "conceived presences" to past due sixteenth-century poets purpose on constructing a countrywide literature. They too conceived the presence of the forebears, either historical and smooth. As Falco demonstrates, Elizabethan and Jacobean poets observed Philip Sidney as their most vital glossy precursor and positioned him on the root in their relations tree.

The book's advent examines using heraldic and genealogical rhetoric with regards to theories of the origins of poetry. next chapters offer shut stories of Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Ben Jonson, and John Milton. Falco demonstrates a radical wisdom of the latest Renaissance feedback, either historicist and linguistic. His booklet finds a promising synthesis of serious techniques, a brand new Humanism during which theoretical views and philological learn mix to make clear the classy goals of English Renaissance poets.

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Additional info for Conceived Presences: Literary Genealogy in Renaissance England (Massachusetts Studies in Early Modern Culture)

Sample text

The association is unexpected; it is, however, demonstrable. The humanist justifies poetry as it is an ethical discipline. Poetry is useful. In each case, utility, very amply construed, is the master motive informing the judgment of poetry and the theatre" (p. 5). Utility, or the lack thereof, is the generating theme of Stephen Gosson's The Schoole of Abuse (1579). Though not a very rigorous theorist by any means, Gosson is still known chiefly because Sidney's Defence of Poesie is a response to his Abuse.

As Edwin H. Miller has suggested, many writers sought to prove the newly debased condition of literature. Literary criticism, such as it was, suffered as a result. The increasing body of critical writings toward the end of the sixteenth century underscored the indictments of moralists and humanists. This is understandable, since English critics were children of an age given to moralistic evaluation and for the most part were unoriginal expounders of secondhand platitudes and generalities borrowed from foreign and classical writers.

Feudal barons are comparatively domesticated, and it is scarcely necessary to persuade the Elizabethan patrons that Achilles had been a worthy musician and therefore that the schools should teach Homer. To the contrary, Homer was in no danger of neglect. Not for Homer's sake does Gosson marshall Elyot's old-fashioned argument aligning music and heroic action, poetry and prudence. Rather, his aim is clearly to encourage readers to see poetry as a civic tool, like a curfew or a sumptuary law, by showing its connection to music.

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Conceived Presences: Literary Genealogy in Renaissance England (Massachusetts Studies in Early Modern Culture) by Raphael Falco


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