Campana, Joseph.

The pain of Reformation : Spenser, vulnerability, and the ethics of masculinity / Joseph Campana. - 1st ed. - New York : Fordham University Press, 2012. - 1 online resource (x, 286 pages) - JSTOR eBooks .

Includes bibliographical references and index.

The Legend of Holiness. Reading Bleeding Trees: The Poetics of Other People's Pain -- Spenser's Dark Materials: Representation in the Shadow of Christ -- The Legend of Temperance. Boy Toys and Liquid Joys: Pleasure and Power in the Bower of Bliss -- The Legend of Chastity. Vulnerable Subjects: Amoret's Agony, Britomart's Battle for Chastity -- Damaged Gods: Adonis and the Pain of Allegory -- Conclusion. Part I. Part II. On Not Defending Poetry: Spenser, Suffering, and the Energy of Affect -- Part III.

This study argues that the most illuminating meditation on vulnerability, masculinity, and ethics in the wake of the Reformation came from Spenser, a poet often associated with the brutalities of English rule in Ireland. The underside, or shadow, of violence in both the fantasies and the realities of Spenser's England was a corresponding contemplation of the nature of the precarious lives of subjects in post-Reformation England. "The Pain of Reformation argues that Edmund Spenser's 1590 Faerie Queene represents an extended meditation on emerging notions of physical, social, and affective vulnerability in Renaissance England. Histories of violence, trauma, and injury have dominated literary studies, often obscuring vulnerability, or an openness to sensation, affect, and aesthetics that includes a wide range of pleasures and pains. This book approaches early modern sensations through the rubric of the vulnerable body, explores the emergence of notions of shared vulnerability, and illuminates a larger constellation of masculinity and ethics in post-Reformation England. Spenser's era grappled with England's precarious political position in a world tense with religious strife and fundamentally transformed by the doctrinal and cultural sea changes of the Reformation, which had serious implications for how masculinity, affect, and corporeality would be experienced and represented. Intimations of vulnerability often collided with the tropes of heroic poetry, producing a combination of defensiveness, anxiety, and shame. It has been easy to identify predictably violent formations of early modern masculinity but more difficult to see Renaissance literature as an exploration of vulnerability. The underside of representations of violence in Spenser's poetry was a contemplation of the precarious lives of subjects in post-Reformation England. Spenser's adoption of the allegory of Venus disarming Mars, understood in Renaissance Europe as an allegory of peace, indicates that The Faerie Queene is a heroic poem that militates against forms of violence and war that threatened to engulf Europe and devastate an England eager to militarize in response to perceived threats from within and without. In pursuing an analysis, disarmament, and redefinition of masculinity in response to a sense of shared vulnerability, Spenser's poem reveals itself to be a vital archive of the way gender, violence, pleasure, and pain were understood"--

9780823239146 0823239144 9780823249527 0823249522

22573/ctt1c5dfhx JSTOR


Masculinity in literature.
Senses and sensation in literature.
Ethics in literature.
Reformation--England.
English literature--History and criticism.
Masculinity.

PR2358 / .C35 2012

821/.3