By Michael Morgan Holmes
Early sleek Metaphysical Literature illuminates now-obscured points of cultural negotiation and denaturalization germane to varied Metaphysical texts. reading poetry and prose via Donne, Marvell, Lanyer, Crashaw, and Edward Herbert, this publication demanding situations readers to acknowledge the provocative strangeness of those writings either of their unique contexts and at the present time.
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Additional resources for Early Modern Metaphysical Literature: Nature, Custom and Strange Desires
178). With this statement, Augustine reveals that he has become a Christian, an identity that was brought about by, and grounded in, a shift in his desires. The widespread in¯uence of Augustine's life and writings in Western Europe solidi®ed desire's place in discussions of selfhood and identity. According to this model, desire purportedly reveals the truth about who and what a person is; however, as Eve's case shows, desires can transform, thereby altering (sometimes severely) what had been commonly considered to be coherent, essential, and knowable.
137). To transgress the gentlemanly habits enshrined by tradition, remarks Tuve, could only have been regarded by the Metaphysicals as a form of `Pride', the gravest of sins (p. 368; Tuve's majuscule). , pp. 128±30, 379, 382±4). When Tuve concludes that `strangeness' is central to Metaphysical poetry (p. 19 Contrary to Tuve's vision, but much closer to Johnson's, Empson portrays Donne as not a little averse to gentlemanly decorum. As he put it in his 1949 review of Tuve's book, `the only possible objection to the exercise of analysing Donne's rhetoric is that it tends to ``explain things away''', including potentially unsettling matters such as Donne's belief in the value of personal experience and desires, the possible existence of separate worlds, and that an ordered cosmos was crumbling around him (Essays, p.
191). The Metaphysicals have spent too much time whirling madly about the `zodiac' of their solipsistic wit and not enough conforming to the time-honoured conventions of `civilitie'. They have produced a transformative literature that affects `evrye thing' including, presumably, ethics, politics, sexuality, and other matters of public order. Towards the end of the seventeenth century, John Dryden resumed the attack along similar lines. In A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire, Dryden compares Donne to his own patron the Earl of Dorset and Middlesex.
Early Modern Metaphysical Literature: Nature, Custom and Strange Desires by Michael Morgan Holmes