Spenser and the Poetics of Pastoral: A Study of the World of Colin Clout

Spenser and the Poetics of Pastoral: A Study of the World of Colin Clout

Spenser and the Poetics of Pastoral: A Study of the World of Colin Clout

Spenser and the Poetics of Pastoral: A Study of the World of Colin Clout

Synopsis

The Shepheardes Calender (1579) signalled Spenser's desire to assume the role of an English Virgil and at the same time his readiness to leave behind the pastoral world of his apprenticeship and his early persona, Colin Clout. Yet Spenser was twice to return to the pastoral world of Colin Clout, first in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe (written 1591, published 1595), and then again in the sixth and last complete book of The Faerie Queene. In Spenser and the Poetics of Pastoral, David Shore considers the structure of the moral eclogues of the Calender as it defines the pastoral vision that informs and unifies the entire poem. He then examines the themes of poetic idealism and courtly corruption in Colin Clout and sees in their confrontation Spenser's questioning of the public foundations of the poet's heroic endeavour. Finally, he considers Calidore's pastoral retreat in The Faerie Queene and finds in it support for the argument that Spenser's greatest poem is essentially complete. Pastoral is a highly self-conscious genre, especially in Spenser's explorations of the imaginative world of Colin Clout. By bringing together Spenser's three versions of that world, Spenser and the Poetics of Pastoral contributes to a richer appreciation of the pastoral works themselves and to a better understanding of the shape of Spenser's literary career as a whole.

Excerpt

This book has had the benefit of example and friendship from friends and teachers at the University of British Columbia and the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, and from many colleagues and students at the University of Tel Aviv and the University of Ottawa. To all of them I would like to express my deep sense of gratitude. I would particularly like to thank Ruby Nemser, in whose graduate seminar my interest in Spenser's pastorals first began, and Robert Smallwood and A.C. Hamilton for encouragement and advice that helped the book and its author over some of their more difficult moments. My greatest debt is to my wife, Elizabeth, without whose support and assistance this book would not have been possible. Thank you.

I am grateful to the editors of Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, English Studies in Canada, and Studies in Philology for permission to make use of material which originally appeared in somewhat different form in their journals. This book has been published with the help of grants from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and from the Department of English, University of Ottawa.

All references to Spenser's text are to the Poetical Works, ed.J. C. Smith andE. de Selincourt (London: Oxford University Press, 1912). References to Shakespeare are to the Complete Works, ed.W. J. Craig (London: Oxford University Press, 1905). Quotations and translations of Virgil are from the Loeb Virgil, ed. and trans.H. Rushton Fairclough , 2 vols. (London: Heinemann, 1934-35). I have normalized the use of u, v, vv, i, and j and expanded printers' contractions in all quotations.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.