Lucid and compelling throughout, Cynthia N. Nazarian's reconceptualization of the Petrarchan mode in romantic verse from Italy, France, and England during the long Renaissance is a significant contribution to our knowledge of a central dimension of lyric poetry in the early modern period, one that should productively reshape our understanding of works even beyond those that she treats in her text. Love's Wounds begins with the relatively simple and uncontroversial premise that Petrarch and his many imitators adopted striking “metaphors of torment and vulnerability” (3)—images that Nazarian contends become more bloody and violent as the Petrarchan tradition modulates and evolves—and then ventures to ask “what their postures of suffering and vulnerability allowed these poets to do” (2). For her innovative answer, keenly elaborated through the expertly sensitive close readings that fill and enrich the book, Nazarian coins the term “countersovereignty” in contending that Petrarchan poets “adapted the rhetoric of powerless...
Love's Wounds: Violence and the Politics of Poetry in Early Modern Europe
j. d. wright is an instructor of literature at the University of Pittsburgh, where his scholarly work focuses on English Renaissance devotional texts, incarnational theology, and ideas of play and recreation. He has also published in the fields of law and literature, film adaptation studies, and contemporary short fiction. Current projects include pieces on incarnational rhetoric in C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity and on George Herbert's poem, “The Altar,” and its relationship to period debates about the fabric of English Reformed churches.
Jarrell D. Wright; Love's Wounds: Violence and the Politics of Poetry in Early Modern Europe. Comparative Literature Studies 15 May 2018; 55 (2): 414–417. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/complitstudies.55.2.0414
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