Cosmos and Image in the Renaissance
French Love Lyric and Natural-Philosophical Poetry

Kathryn Banks

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

3 October 2008  •  230pp

ISBN: 978-1-905981-92-2 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-315095-37-0 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

RenaissanceFrenchPoetry


Renaissance images could be real as well as linguistic. Human beings were often believed to be an image of the cosmos, and the sun an image of God. Kathryn Banks explores the implications of this for poetic language and argues that linguistic images were a powerful tool for rethinking cosmic conceptions. She reassesses the role of natural-philosophical poetry in France, focusing upon its most well-known and widely-read exponent, Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas. Through a sustained analysis of Maurice Scève’s Délie, Banks also rethinks love lyric’s oft-noted use of the beloved as image of the poet. Cosmos and Image makes an original contribution to our understanding of Renaissance thinking about the cosmic, the human, and the divine. It also proposes a mode of reading other Renaissance texts, and reflects at length upon the relation of ‘literature’ to history, to the history of science, and to political turmoil.

Kathryn Banks is Lecturer in French at Durham University.

Reviews:

  • ‘A powerful interpretation of the relationship of cosmic and linguistic images... a thoughtful and thought-provoking analysis into sixteenth-century poetry and intellectual history.’ — Michael Randall, Renaissance Quarterly 62, 2009, 1237-38
  • ‘Dans cet ouvrage savant, où l'érudition ne nuit jamais à la clarté de l'exposé, l'auteur choisit de réexaminer ce que Lucien Febvre appelait "l'outillage mental" du seizième siècle mais en s'attachant moins à la circulation des idées ... qu'à leur expression linguistique et au jeu auquel les soumet le poète ... Du point de vue méthodologique de nombreuses précautions sont prises, à la fois dans l'introduction et dans le corps de l'analyse ... une stratégie d'exposition qui, loin de ramener le différent au même, entend refuser l'emprise de tout schéma téléologique.’ — Francois Rigolot, French Review 83.4, March 2010, 859
  • ‘This is a scholarly and rewarding study based pleasingly on close readings of an interesting combination of texts [...] a detailed and authoritative account of images which goes beyond the purely linguistic, situating its material both within a developing tradition in the history of ideas and against a backdrop of contemporary political, philosophical and theological debates. As such, with its broad and thoroughly researched range of references to writers in different disciplines and genres, it is of as much interest to the general reader as it is to specialists of Scève or Du Bartas.’ — Emma Herdman, Renaissance Studies 24.3, June 2010, 451-52
  • ‘Exemplarily lucid explorations of a number of difficult problems in sixteenth-century poetic theory and practice.’ — James Helgeson, French Studies 65.2, April 2011, 239-40
  • ‘A rich, persuasive account of some extraordinary poetry and a fascinating period of intellectual and literary history.’ — 'MHG', St Catharine's Magazine 2009, p. 85

Bibliography entry:

Banks, Kathryn, Cosmos and Image in the Renaissance: French Love Lyric and Natural-Philosophical Poetry (Cambridge: Legenda, 2008)

First footnote reference: 35 Kathryn Banks, Cosmos and Image in the Renaissance: French Love Lyric and Natural-Philosophical Poetry (Cambridge: Legenda, 2008), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Banks, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Banks, Kathryn. 2008. Cosmos and Image in the Renaissance: French Love Lyric and Natural-Philosophical Poetry (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Banks 2008: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Banks 2008: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


This Legenda title was first published by Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing but rights to it are now held by Modern Humanities Research Association and Routledge.

Routledge distributes this title on behalf on Legenda. You can search for it at their site by following this link.


Permanent link to this title: