The English Elegy: Studies in the Genre from Spenser to Yeats

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Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987 - 375 páginas

Winner of the Christian Gauss Award from the Phi Beta Kappa Society

Peter Sacks explores the functions as well as the forms of convention in a book that is both an interpretive study of a genre and a series of close readings of individual poems. Moving from Spenser's "Astrophel" of 1595 to Yeats's "In Memory of Major Robert Gregory" of 1918, Sacks examines such elegiac motifs and conventions as the use of pastoral contexts, the employment of repetition and refrains, sudden outbursts of vengeful anger, and assertions of deflected sexual power. These and other elements of the elegy, he argues, are more than mere features of a conventionalized aesthetic design, they emerge as elements in the performance of the task of mourning.

Now available in paperback, The English Elegy is an ambitious and humane book, an eloquent work that counters the tendency of much recent criticism to lose the connection between literary language and the needs from which that language arises.

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Acerca del autor (1987)

Peter M. Sacks is an associate professor in the Writing Seminars and the Department of English at the Johns Hopkins University. He is also the author of In These Mountains, a book of poetry.

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