Humanism and Poetry in the Early Tudor Period: An Essay

Humanism and Poetry in the Early Tudor Period: An Essay

Humanism and Poetry in the Early Tudor Period: An Essay

Humanism and Poetry in the Early Tudor Period: An Essay

Excerpt

. . . itaque quoties ad studium accedimus, ab oratione auspicandum est, quod fecisse Thomam Aquinatem, et alios permultos sanctos uiros, memoriae estproditum: idque est orandum, ut sana sint nostra studia, ut nemini noxia, ut robis et omnibus in commune salutffera: ceterum si omnibus uitae actionibus propositus esse debet finis aliquis, quanto magis studiis, ut constitutum sit nobis, quo pertineat labor noster; neque enim studendum est semper ut studeamus solum, nec ut se animus inani quadam contemplatione, ac cognitione rerum exlex et immunis oblectet. . .

THE reader is not normally interested in what an author claims to have been doing, but in what has been done. He may, however, on looking back, wonder why other things he had expected to be done were riot attempted, or he may, on opening the book, wish to be told in a general way what expectations he can count on being met, and perhaps satisfied. A critical essay should always indicate its point of entry, and show precisely in the field of discourse where the main heading lies under which it properly falls. This, however, is just what I am unable to do; for, as Pirandello once thought of characters in search of an author, so the topics I have handled in this essay are still in search of the right head under which they should be classified. My difficulty is that, in offering an approach to a chronological stretch of writing -- roughly, the first fifty years of the sixteenth century -- I feel it would be equally misleading to the reader to label this enquiry critical or historical. If it did not sound too pretentious, I should be inclined to say that the object of the essay is to question the propriety of this dichotomy.

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