By Corey McEleney
During the Renaissance, poets justified the price in their paintings at the foundation of the inspiration that the aim of poetry is to thrill and coach, that it has to be either pleasant and beneficial. even as, a lot of those writers confronted the chance that the pleasures of literature could be in clash with the call for to be valuable and useful. studying the rhetoric of enjoyment and the excitement of rhetoric in texts by means of William Shakespeare, Roger Ascham, Thomas Nashe, Edmund Spenser, and John Milton, McEleney explores the ambivalence those writers exhibit towards literature’s capability for dead, frivolous self-importance.
Tracing that ambivalence ahead to the trendy period, this booklet additionally exhibits how modern critics have recapitulated Renaissance humanist beliefs approximately aesthetic price. opposed to a longstanding culture that defensively advocates for the redemptive software of literature, Futile Pleasures either theorizes and plays the queer pleasures of futility. with out ever wasting sight of the prices of these pleasures, McEleney argues that fiddling with futility could be a method of relocating past the impasses that smooth humanists, like their early sleek opposite numbers, have regularly faced.
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Futile Pleasures: Early Modern Literature and the Limits of Utility by Corey McEleney