First published in 1986, this title examines a set of English Renaissance texts by Shakespeare, Spenser, Herbert, Marvell and Milton, within the theoretic framework of postmodern thought. Following an opening chapter that argues for the value of this conjunction as a way of understanding literary history, subsequent chapters draw upon Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction of photocentrism and Jacques Lacan’s analysis of the agency of the letter to offer fully theorized readings. Throughout, there is a sustained concern with the transformations of such Ovidian figures as Narcissus and Echo, Perseus and Medusa, Orpheus and Eurydice, and with the echo effects of Virgilian pastoral, as paradigms for the interplay of voice and writing.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; 1. Terminals 2. Marvell’s nymph and the echo of voice 3. Consuming texts: Spenser and the poet’s economy 4. Shakespearian characters: the generations of Silvia 5. The dead letter: Herbert’s other voices 6. Milton’s warning voice: considering preventive measures; Notes; Index