Allegory, Space and the Material World in the Writings of by Christopher Burlinson

By Christopher Burlinson

This publication offers an intensive reassessment of Spenserian allegory, particularly of The Faerie Queene, within the mild of up to date old and theoretical pursuits in area and fabric tradition. It explores the ambiguous and fluctuating cognizance to materiality, gadgets, and substance within the poetics of The Faerie Queene, and discusses the way in which that Spenser's construction of allegorical which means uses this materiality, and transforms it. It indicates additional serious engagement with materiality (which has been so very important to the hot examine of early glossy drama) needs to come, when it comes to allegorical narrative, via a learn of narrative and actual area, and during this context it is going directly to offer a examining of the spatial dimensions of the poem - quests and battles, forests, castles and hovels - and the spatial features of Spenser's different writings. The booklet reaffirms the necessity to position Spenser in his ancient contexts - philosophical and medical, army and architectural - in early sleek England, eire and Europe, but in addition presents a serious reassessment of this literary historicism. Dr CHRISTOPHER BURLINSON is a learn Fellow in English at Emmanuel collage, Cambridge.

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Extra info for Allegory, Space and the Material World in the Writings of Edmund Spenser (Studies in Renaissance Literature)

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28 Space, Place, And Location Which he atchieued to his owne great gaines, Reaping eternall glorie of his restlesse paines. So sharply he the Monster did pursew, That day nor night he suffred him to rest, Ne rested he himselfe but natures dew, For dread of daunger, not to be redrest, If he for slouth forslackt so famous quest. Him first from court he to the citties coursed, And from the citties to the townes him prest, And from the townes into the countrie forsed, And from the countrie back to priuate farmes he scorsed.

The Letter to Ralegh and Spenser’s dedicatory sonnets, then, like the writings of these late sixteenth-century rhetoricians, allow us to conceptualize the place of the material in Spenserian allegory. I began this chapter by discussing places where objects and substance were given a special prominence in The Faerie Queene. As I have argued, the poem gives us anything but a realistic view, or a simple mimetic representation, of the world and the objects in it. But there is a physical presence in the allegory that fits awkwardly with the idea of allegorical narrative as a transcendence of the material.

But if we come to believe that there are difficulties with regarding the poem as any kind of realistic narrative (and I argued in the previous chapter that this was indeed a feature of allegory), is there any way for us to talk about space in the poem? In this chapter, then, I discuss the narrative space of the poem, how we might go about converting its sequence of events into awareness of a physical space; but also how we can think about Faeryland as a world, or at least about the many ways in which criticism has conceived it as such, and how we are to deal with 2 3 It thus comes close to the ‘postmodernist gesture’ that Slavoj ½i¼ek imagines, in a hypothetical James Bond film – and are not the Bond films, with their narratives of danger, national triumph and sexual conquest in exotic locations, forms of modern romance?

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