Imagining Arcadia in Renaissance Romance: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Imagining Arcadia in Renaissance Romance

1st Edition

By Marsha S. Collins

Routledge

274 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138900684
pub: 2016-04-06
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Description

From Theocritus’ Idylls to James Cameron’s Avatar, Arcadia remains an enduring presence in world culture and a persistent source of creative inspiration. Why does Arcadia still exercise such a powerful pull on the imagination? This book responds by arguing that in sixteenth-century Europe, a dramatic shift took place in imagining Arcadia. The traditional visions of Arcadia collided and fused with romance, the new experimental form of prose fiction, producing a hybrid, dynamic world of change and transformation. Emphasizing matters of fictional function and world-making over generic classification, Imagining Arcadia in Renaissance Romance analyzes the role of romance as a catalyst in remaking Arcadia in five, canonical sixteenth-century texts: Sannazaro’s Arcadia; Montemayor’s La Diana; Cervantes’ La Galatea; Sidney’s Arcadia; and Lope de Vega’s Arcadia. Collins’ analyses of the re-imagined Arcadia in these works elucidate the interplay between timely incursions into the fictional world and the timelessness of art, highlighting issues of freedom, identity formation, subjectivity and self-fashioning, the intersection of public and private activity, and the fascination with mortality.

This book addresses the under-representation of Spanish literature in Early Modern literary histories, especially regarding the rich Spanish contribution to the pastoral and to idealizing fiction in the West. Companion chapters on Cervantes and Sidney add to the growing field of Anglo-Spanish comparative literary studies, while the book’s comparative and transnational approach extends discussion of the pastoral beyond the boundaries of national literary traditions. This book’s innovative approach to these fictional worlds sheds new light on Arcadia’s enduring presence in the collective imagination today.

Reviews

"Marsha Collins’s approach to the construction, or reconstruction, of Arcadia in the sixteenth century is fascinating and convincing. Her study presents a dynamic vision of the pastoral world and its special sensibility. The comparative analyses—of Sannazaro, Montemayor, Cervantes, Sidney, and Lope de Vega—are sound, well argued, and a pleasure to read, offering a superb complement to previous studies of the genre."Edward H. Friedman, Professor of Comparative Literature and European Studies. Vanderbilt University, USA

Table of Contents

1. Weaving the Arcadian Tapestry 2. In the Ending is the Beginning: Sannazaro’s Arcadia (1504) 3. The Metamorphosis of Arcadia: Montemayor’s La Diana (1559) 4. Romancing Arcadia: Cervantes’ La Galatea (1585) 5. Romancing Arcadia: Sidney’s Arcadia (1590) 6. Courting Arcadia: Lope’s Arcadia (1598) Conclusion

About the Author

Marsha S. Collins is Professor of Comparative Literature and Royster Distinguished Professor for Graduate Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. She is the author of a book on the historical novels of Pío Baroja, a book on Luis de Góngora's poetic masterpiece the Soledades, and articles on Cervantes, Lope, Galdós, and Unamuno, among others. Her research focuses on the literature of Imperial Spain in a comparative context, the relationship between literature and the visual arts, and romance and other idealizing forms of fiction.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture

From Shakespeare to Jonson, Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture looks at both the literature and culture of the early modern period. This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering literature alongside theatre, popular culture, race, gender, ecology, space, and other subjects, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT004280
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / Spanish & Portuguese
LIT019000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Renaissance