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Donne's Idea of a Woman
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In this book I aim to set the record straight: about what John Donne meant when he said that "he described the Idea of a Woman and not as she was," and about the structure, and therefore the meaning, of The Anniversaries. Nothing in the various "new historicisms" can help us define "Idea," and nothing in structuralism or poststructuralism can help us understand the " mimetic" and "ecstatic" structure of The Anniversaries. Disappointing but true, and not only for these poems. Although I am concerned primarily with the two greatest poems written between The Faerie Queene and Paradise Lost, I have the usual hopes that my mild-mannered polemic may have some effect on the way we read Donne's other poems and other works of the period.
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An edition of this book was published by Columbia University Press.
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