Contemporary criticism of Donne has tended to ignore the historical culture and ideology that conditioned his writings, reinforcing the traditionally accepted model of the poet as a humanist of ethical, cultural and political individualism. In this title, first published in 1986, Thomas Docherty challenges this with a more rigorously theoretical reading of Donne, particularly in relation to the specific culture of the late Renaissance in Europe. Docherty locates Donne’s poetry at the crux of the various scientific, legal, domestic and rhetorical discourses that surrounded and informed it. With a broadly post-structuralist approach, this reissue will benefit literature students with an interest in the wider study and context of John Donne’s work.
Table of Contents
A Note on the Text; Introduction: Undoing Donne; Section I: Problems and Paradoxes 1. Displacement and Eccentricity: The Struggle with History 2. The Problem of Women: Authority, Power, Communication 3. Crisis and Hypocrisis: The Failure of Representation 4. Identity and Difference: Individuality Betrayed; Section II: Therapies and (ir)resolutions 5. Play, Poetry, Prayer: The ‘Vocation’ of ‘Donne’ 6. Donne’s Praise of Folly 7. Writing as Therapy: A fishy Tale and a Diet of Worms; Index