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Humanism and Classical Crisis: Anxiety, Intertexts, and the Miltonic Memory by Jacob Blevins (review)

Humanism and Classical Crisis: Anxiety, Intertexts, and the Miltonic Memory by Jacob Blevins... Jacob Blevins, Humanism and Classical Crisis: Anxiety, Intertexts, and the Miltonic Memory Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2014, x + 172 pp. This is an ambitious book. It contains some nice close readings of several early modern texts, from the Pléiade poets through Ben Jonson and his followers to Milton, but its real goal is to produce a new interpretive framework for Renaissance humanism. For centuries, scholars have taken the Renaissance humanists at their word and described their project as a largely successful reappropriation of the classical past. Recently, however, a revisionist paradigm has evolved in which the fissures and anxieties in this rebirth have been laid bare. Using material fragments and the texts that survived, Renaissance writers attempted to recreate classical Rome as a center of cultural supremacy. The reality, however, was that the Rome of Cicero and Virgil lay in ruins, textually, materially, and ideologically, and in the effort to recover it, the Renaissance humanists came to realize that from their Christian, postclassical perspective, the ruined Rome did not offer everything they needed, even if it could be fully recovered. This realization led to a sense of crisis: the classical and the Christian coexisted in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Humanism and Classical Crisis: Anxiety, Intertexts, and the Miltonic Memory by Jacob Blevins (review)

The Comparatist , Volume 40 – Nov 11, 2016

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
Publisher site
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Abstract

Jacob Blevins, Humanism and Classical Crisis: Anxiety, Intertexts, and the Miltonic Memory Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2014, x + 172 pp. This is an ambitious book. It contains some nice close readings of several early modern texts, from the Pléiade poets through Ben Jonson and his followers to Milton, but its real goal is to produce a new interpretive framework for Renaissance humanism. For centuries, scholars have taken the Renaissance humanists at their word and described their project as a largely successful reappropriation of the classical past. Recently, however, a revisionist paradigm has evolved in which the fissures and anxieties in this rebirth have been laid bare. Using material fragments and the texts that survived, Renaissance writers attempted to recreate classical Rome as a center of cultural supremacy. The reality, however, was that the Rome of Cicero and Virgil lay in ruins, textually, materially, and ideologically, and in the effort to recover it, the Renaissance humanists came to realize that from their Christian, postclassical perspective, the ruined Rome did not offer everything they needed, even if it could be fully recovered. This realization led to a sense of crisis: the classical and the Christian coexisted in

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 11, 2016

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