Cover image for The Building in the Text: Alberti to Shakespeare and Milton By Roy Eriksen

The Building in the Text

Alberti to Shakespeare and Milton

Roy Eriksen

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$30.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-02783-8

216 pages
6" × 9"
7 b&w illustrations
2000

The Building in the Text

Alberti to Shakespeare and Milton

Roy Eriksen

“Highly original yet well founded historically: an important contribution to the scholarship of the Italian Renaissance.”

 

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Selected for jacket design for the 2000 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show of the Association of American University Presses

In The Building in the Text, Roy Eriksen shows that Renaissance writers conceived of their texts in accordance with architectural principles. His approach opens the way to wide-ranging discussions of the structure and meaning of a variety of literary texts and also provides new insights into the famed architectural ekphrases of Alberti and Vasari.

Analyzing such words as "plot," "topos," "fabrica," and "stanza," Eriksen discloses the fundamental spatial symmetries and complexities in the writings of Ariosto, Shakespeare, and Milton, among other major figures. Ultimately, his book uncovers and clarifies a tradition of literary architecture that is rooted in antiquity and based on correspondences regarded as ordering principles of the cosmos.

Eriksen’s book will be of interest to art historians, historians of literature, and those concerned with the classical heritage, rhetoric, music, and architecture.

“Highly original yet well founded historically: an important contribution to the scholarship of the Italian Renaissance.”
“While rhetoric has been central to the study of humanist writing devoted to art and architecture, the importance of artistic and architectural theory for literature has been largely overlooked. Eriksen’s new assessment, The Building in the Text, fills this void. The study not only discusses the significance of classical rhetoric for aesthetics; it also explores the ways in which Renaissance artistic theory, including architectural treatises, influenced Italian and Elizabethan literary culture.

Eriksen offers an insightful exposition on the craft of writing, providing an interdisciplinary study of architectural metaphors and further exploring the visual natures of Renaissance literature and poetry.”
The Building in the Text, by bringing together material from a number of sources and applying it to an analysis of how evolving rhetorical conventions shaped the compositional, structural, and visual from of early modern literary production, offers the reader an important interdisciplinary study of how architecture and rhetoric converged over time and emerged in the Renaissance in the form of writing and poetry that was recognizably architectonic and visual in nature.”

Roy Eriksen is Professor of Interdisciplinary Italian Renaissance Studies at the University of Oslo in Rome.

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