Wit's Treasury: Renaissance England and the Classics (Hardcover)

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Wit's Treasury: Renaissance England and the Classics (Hardcover)

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As England entered the Renaissance and as humanism, with its focus on classical literature and philosophy, informed the educational system, English intellectuals engaged in a concerted effort to remake the culture, language, manners--indeed, the whole national style--through adapting the classics. But how could English literature, art, and culture, become classical, not only in imitating the ancients, but in the sense subsequently applied to music: classical as opposed to popular, as formal, serious, and therefore as good?

For several decades in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Stephen Orgel writes, the return to the classics held out the promise of refinement and civility. Poetry was to be modeled on Greek and Roman examples rather than on the great English medieval works, which though admirable, lacked correctness. More than poetry was at stake, however, and the transition would not be easy. Classical rules seemed the wave of the future, rescuing England from what was seen as the crudeness and the sheer popularity of its native traditions, but advocacy was tempered with a good deal of ambivalence: classical manners and morals were often at variance with Christian principles, and the classicism of the age would need to be deeply revisionist. Christian humanism was never untroubled, Orgel writes, always an unstable or even paradoxical amalgam.

In Wit's Treasury, one of our foremost interpreters of Renaissance literature and culture charts how this ambivalence yielded the rich creative tension out of which emerged an unprecedented flowering of drama, lyric, and the arts. Orgel has here written a book that will appeal to anyone interested in English Renaissance art and literature, and particularly in the cultural ferment that produced Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser, Jonson, and Milton.
Stephen Orgel is Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor in the Humanities Emeritus at Stanford University. His most recent books are The Reader in the Book and Spectacular Performances. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Associazione Sigismondo Malatesta. In 2017 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Venice.
Product Details ISBN: 9780812253276
ISBN-10: 0812253272
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication Date: August 6th, 2021
Pages: 216
Language: English

THE SANTA FE LITERARY FESTIVAL

Celebrating the power of story, the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival will be an unforgettable weekend dedicated to a shared love and language of ideas. Collected Works Bookstore is thrilled to be the official bookstore of the Festival. 

Bestselling, prizewinning authors and literary legends like Margaret Atwood, Joy Harjo, Colson Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros, John Grisham, amongst others, will headline the festival, discussing their work with readings and book signings that set the stage for further inspired conversations.

NOTE: If you purchase a festival event ticket that is INCLUSIVE of the author's book, you will receive that book upon check-in for your event at the festival.

To order books by festival authors directly from CW, see below. Collected Works will be carrying a wide selection of books by all participating authors available for online pre-order and at the on-site festival bookstore May 20-23.

Purchase your tickets from the SF Literary Festival website here.

Purchase your books by festival authors directly from CW below:

Margaret Atwood     Freddie Bitsoie     Sandra Cisneros

Lynn Cline     William deBuys     Ashley Ford

John Grisham     Roshi Joan Halifax     Joy Harjo

Anne Hillerman     Cheryl Alters Jamison     Craig Johnson

Asma Khan     Phil Klay      Jon Krakauer

Valeria Luiselli     Deborah Madison      Emily St. John Mandel

George R. R. Martin      James McGrath Morris     Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co. 

Carmella Padilla     Douglas Preston     Kirstin Valdez Quade

Bob Shacochis     Henry Shukman     Hampton Sides

Bryant Terry     Darryl Lorenzo Wellington     Colson Whitehead

Don Winslow     Lawrence Wright