Spenser's Ovidian Poetics
No history of the longstanding critical tradition of exploring the Spenser-Ovid relationship has been written. In this book Professor Stapleton constructs such a critical history: the annotations of E. K. in The Shepheardes Calender (1579), the Enlightenment editions of The Faerie Queene, the philological mode of the Spenser Variorum (1932-57), and the recent, innovative work of Harry Berger and Colin Burrow. Aside from occasional articles, no truly comprehensive analysis of their kinship as love poets exists, either. The author explores Spenser's emulation of Ovid's amatory poetics. His humanist education trained him to find or construct analogues and etiological patterns in classical texts. Therefore, his early study of translation, intensive reading, and "versifying" as an interrelated process guaranteed a densely allusive, metamorphic Ovidian poetics as a natural result.
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