John Donne's Poetry and Early Modern Visual Culture

Etukansi
Susquehanna University Press, 2005 - 248 sivua
This study argues the thesis that John Donne's poetry, already well-served by the insightful close readings of earlier generations of scholars, can now profit from being read in the context of early modern cultural experience, specifically its visual culture. It points out that the focus on visual culture allows for a non-monolithic, flexible reading of Donne's verse, in part because it acknowledges that while the complexity of his religious identity has been well-explored, the complexity of his secular interest has perhaps been less thoroughly examined. Since a study of early modern visual culture is deeply concerned with the vicissitudes of the image, both religious and secular, such a context serves to integrate what in Donne sometimes invites polarity. Focused on close readings of several poems, the study is in two parts. On the one hand, it examines the visual culture of early modern England and argues that reading Donne's poetry enhances our understanding of how that culture actually operated when looked at through the experience of a practicing poet. On the other, it looks at Donne's verse and argues that reading that against the visual culture through which it participated adds a dimension to that verse that would otherwise be less accessible to us.

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Acknowledgments
9
The Early Politics
29
The Structure of the Lyrics
61
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Ann Hollinshead Hurley is Professor of English at Wagner College.

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