New PDF release: Futile Pleasures: Early Modern Literature and the Limits of

By Corey McEleney

opposed to the protecting backdrop of numerous apologetic justifications for the worth of literature and the arts, Futile Pleasures reframes the present dialog via returning to the literary tradition of early sleek England, a tradition whose shielding posture towards literature competitors and shapes our own.

During the Renaissance, poets justified the worth in their paintings at the foundation of the concept that the aim of poetry is to delight and coach, that it has to be either pleasant and necessary. whilst, lots of those writers confronted the chance that the pleasures of literature could be in clash with the call for to be invaluable and important. examining the rhetoric of delight and the excitement of rhetoric in texts through William Shakespeare, Roger Ascham, Thomas Nashe, Edmund Spenser, and John Milton, McEleney explores the ambivalence those writers exhibit towards literature’s strength for dead, frivolous self-importance.

Tracing that ambivalence ahead to the fashionable period, this ebook additionally indicates how modern critics have recapitulated Renaissance humanist beliefs approximately aesthetic worth. opposed to a longstanding culture that defensively advocates for the redemptive software of literature, Futile Pleasures either theorizes and plays the queer pleasures of futility. with no ever wasting sight of the prices of these pleasures, McEleney argues that twiddling with futility can be a technique of relocating past the impasses that sleek humanists, like their early glossy opposite numbers, have constantly faced.

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Futile Pleasures: Early Modern Literature and the Limits of Utility by Corey McEleney

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