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What is criticism? And where is it to be found? Thinking about literature and the visual arts is found in many places - in treatises, apologies, and paragoni; in prefaces, letters, and essays; in commentaries, editions, reading notes, and commonplace books; in images, sculptures, and built spaces; within or on the thresholds of works of poetry and visual art. It is situated between different disciplines and methods. Critical ideas and methods come into England from other countries, and take root in particular locations - the court, the Inns of Court, the theatre, the great house, the printer's shop, the university. The practice of criticism is transplanted to the Americas and attempts to articulate the place of poetry in a new world. And commonplaces of classical poetics and rhetoric serve both to connect and to measure the space between different critical discourses. Tracing the history of the development of early modern thinking about literature and the visual arts requires consideration of various kinds of place - material, textual, geographical - and the practices particular to those places; it also requires that those different places be brought into dialogue with each other. This book brings together scholars working in departments of English, modern languages, and art history to look at the many different places of early modern criticism. It argues polemically for the necessity of looking afresh at the scope of criticism, and at what happens on its margins; and for interrogating our own critical practices and disciplinary methods by investigating their history.
About the Author
Gavin Alexander, Reader in Renaissance Literature, University of Cambridge, Emma Gilby, Reader in Early Modern French Literature and Thought, University of Cambridge, Alexander Marr, Reader in the History of Early Modern Art, University of Cambridge Gavin Alexander is Reader in Renaissance Literature in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge. His most recent project is an edition of The Model of Poesy by William Scott (CUP, 2013). Other publications include Writing After Sidney: The Literary Response to Sir Philip Sidney, 1586-1640(OUP, 2006) and Renaissance Figures of Speech (CUP, 2007), co-edited with Sylvia Adamson and Katrin Ettenhuber, as well as numerous articles and book chapters on literary and musicological topics. He is currently working on a book on English Renaissance poets and music, and a project on lyric poetryand poetics. Emma Gilby is Reader in Early Modern French Literature and Thought at the University of Cambridge. Her publications include Descartes's Fictions: Reading Philosophy with Poetics (OUP, 2019) and Sublime Worlds: Early Modern French Literature (MHRA [Legenda], 2006), as well as various co-editedvolumes and articles on the literary and intellectual history of the early modern period. Much of her research has focused on poetic theory and its connections to the rhetoric, philosophy and theology of seventeenth-century France. Alexander Marr is Reader in the History of Early Modern Art at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall. He recently published, with R. Garrod, J.R. Marcaida, and R. Oosterhoff, Logodaedalus: Word Histories of Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018).His study of Peter Paul Rubens, Rubens's Spirit: from Ingenuity to Genius is forthcoming from Reaktion Books.