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Forms of Presence in Renaissance Lyric
ENGL 345
Spring 2019 not offered

Lyric poems depend on immediacy---on the sense that, when we read them, we hear a real voice, speaking right now. Yet the presence that lyrics create is always at risk of being exposed as fantasy, an illusion conjured by the written texts in which we encounter them. How, then, do lyrics bring voices to life? What gives those voices the thrill of immediate presence? And what do lyrics do to us, the readers whom they seek out or evade, seduce or resist, sometimes all at once?

These questions were particularly urgent in early modern England, where an astonishing outpouring of lyric poetry coincided with the rise of print. In this course, we will take this historical coincidence seriously: studying the major lyric poets of the period by paying special attention to the material forms in which their poems reached readers. Our approach will be guided by readings in lyric theory and the history of the book; together, they will prompt us to ask how the book as medium shapes and troubles lyric's imagined presences--and the problems of self, love and desire, of sex and gender, of religious belief and political commitment, with which lyric wrestles.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on JUL-22-2024
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