Cover image for The Subtext of Form in the English Renaissance: Proportion Poetical By S. K. Heninger

The Subtext of Form in the English Renaissance

Proportion Poetical

S. K. Heninger

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$41.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-02734-0

224 pages
6" × 9"
1994

The Subtext of Form in the English Renaissance

Proportion Poetical

S. K. Heninger

“This is a work of seminal importance in educating scholars on how to perceive art in any medium precisely because Heninger provides a successful methodology for understanding what lies behind the apparent content of texts and images. The book is highly original in advancing new theories, analyzing specific art works as well as synthesizing the gamut of conventional and avant-garde wisdom. One has the sense of having finally understood what texts and visual arts have in common, even and especially across geographical boundaries (Italy and England).”

 

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During the sixteenth century in England the logocentrism of the Middle Ages was confronted by a materialism that heralded the modern world. With remarkable tenacity in music, poetry, and painting, the orthodox aesthetic persisted as formal features which served as nonverbal signs and provided a subtext of form. In opposition, however, a radical aesthetic emerged to accommodate the new attention to physical nature. The growing force of materialism occasioned a fundamental rethinking of what an artifact might represent and how that representation might be achieved. This book explores the ontological and epistemological issues that poststructuralist thought raises about that shift in our cultural history. In doing so, it charts a course for Renaissance studies, now in disarray, that avoids the old positivism while not succumbing to the new nihilism.
“This is a work of seminal importance in educating scholars on how to perceive art in any medium precisely because Heninger provides a successful methodology for understanding what lies behind the apparent content of texts and images. The book is highly original in advancing new theories, analyzing specific art works as well as synthesizing the gamut of conventional and avant-garde wisdom. One has the sense of having finally understood what texts and visual arts have in common, even and especially across geographical boundaries (Italy and England).”
“Neither the politically correct, nor the theoretical avant-garde, nor the conservative opposition to any and all theory will fully endorse this book, but all of these groups are likely to be influenced by its candor and solid scholarship. This book deserves to be widely read because it advances the theoretical discussion of how we view and should view history and hermeneutics.”

S. K. Heninger, Jr., is University Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at the University of North Carolina and author of, most recently, Sidney and Spenser: The Poet as Maker (Penn State, 1989).

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