A History of Western Literature: From Medieval Epic to Modern Poetry

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Transaction Publishers, 1968 - Literary Criticism - 381 pages
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This book begins in a narrow territory, strictly Western, and extends with the passage of time to include the poetry, plays, novels, and works of speculation of the great authors of the past and present from Russia to Mexico. his objective is to tell the whole story of Western writing in languages other than English from the twelfth-century Chanson de Roland to Evtushenko's poetry of the 1960s.

Cohen not only presents a factual account of historical growth. The book reflects the author's own judgments and valuations, arrived at in the course of almost forty years' reading in the main European languages. A work of original critism, A History of Western Literature immediately became a standard reference when first published. In this new edition, the author has included revisions covering the most important recent writers and their work.

"Especially for American or British readers who want to explore under sensible guidance the main lines of Western letters, this carefully wrought handbook is indispensable."--Library Journal.

"Considering Mr. Cohen's vast scope, his achievement is commendable. The information he presents is accurate. His style is surprisingly readable...."--Modern Language Journal.

J. M. Cohen (1903-1989) was a widely known critic and a translator of French and Spanish literature. He was born in London and graduated from Cambridge University. His versions of Don Quixote, Gargantua and Pantagruel, and Rousseau's Confessions are recognized as among the finest modern translations.

 

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Contents

FOREWORD
9
The Theme of Courtly Love
25
The Rebirth of Italy
45
Mysticism Mannerism and Popular Poetry
65
The Birth of the Drama
84
The Later Italian Renaissance
95
Reformation in Germany and Renaissance
109
The Great Age of Spain and Portugal
130
The Great Age of France
172
The Early Novel The Reign of Reason
198
Italian Revival and the Age of Goethe
218
The Romantics
241
The Novel in its Prime
264
Poetry after the Romantics
290
A NOTE ON TRANSLATIONS
357
INDEX
373

Italian Epic Spanish Drama and German Poetry
145

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