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Chamber Music: Elizabethan Sonnet-Sequences…

Chamber Music: Elizabethan Sonnet-Sequences and the Pleasure of Criticism

by Roger Kuin

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802041884, Hardcover)

Roger Kuin's Chamber Music is a playfully written, imaginative, and ultimately demanding book, with a critical approach characterized by an unusual and indiosynchratic post-modern critical style that will challenge the reader's perceptions of what a book of criticism should and can do.

Analysing the sonnet sequences of Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare both from an interpretive angle and from the perspective of a post-modern re-evaluation of the Renaissance sonnets, Roger Kuin's discussion is influenced by many modern literary critics, including Roland Barthes and Umberto Eco. Kuin focuses on the problems inherent in the form of the sonnet sequence, emphasizing the various forms of indeterminacy central to their meaning. His sense of the intertextual relationship among the major English sequences is subtle, and in places, strikingly original, in combination with a highly sophisticated understanding of theory.

Chamber Music is a book that will infuriate many, but ultimately reward those who flow with its idiosyncratic style towards Roger Kuin's admirable and expert conclusions.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:54 -0400)

Arranged somewhat like a sonnet-sequence, in semi-sequential units, Chamber Music can be seen as following two streams. In the first instance, it presents a fresh and original discussion of the major Elizabethan sonnet-sequences: Sidney's Astrophil and Stella, Spenser's Amoretti and Epithalamion, and Shakespeare's Sonnets and Lover's Complaint. The sonnet-sequences are read in tandem with works of modern criticism, including those of Roland Barthes, Michel Riffaterre, Paul Ricoeur, Jacques Derrida, and Umberto Eco. The book is also an experiment in modern (as opposed to postmodern) criticism in which the content of the argument modifies the presentation.… (more)

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