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Commitment and the Vernacular: Thomas Nashe and Elizabethan literary culture
Linnéuniversitetet, Fakulteten för konst och humaniora (FKH), Institutionen för språk (SPR).ORCID-id: 0000-0002-2469-6431
2015 (engelsk)Konferansepaper, Oral presentation only (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

It has been something of a critical commonplace to see Thomas Nashe (1567-1601) as a representative of  “pure”, uncommitted literature. “If asked what Nashe ‘says’, we should have to reply, Nothing”: C.S. Lewis’ statement also can be said to foreshadow post-structuralist readings (e.g. Jonathan Crewe’s) according to which Nashe’s prose basically reveals the logocentric prejudice of the reader. Arguably, though, it is precisely in its obsession with aspects of language that Nashe’s pamphlets reflect commitment: to literary culture, to questions of style, reading and taste. In the lively debate on the role of English vernacular literature in the 1590s, Nashe’s texts stand out not only because they have lots of things to say about the English language and the literary climate (in for example the prefaces to Greene’s Menaphon or Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella) but because they can be said to reflect commitment in their very form: indeed, their exploitation of a satirical persona forces the reader to respond over questions of what literature is, why we read it and who has control over it. In other words, in engaging with Nashe’s underanalysed effort as a critic and writer on aesthetic matters, this paper argues that Nashe’s preoccupation with language is not a matter of lacking commitment so much as a prerequisite for it. As interventions in the literary culture of his time, then, Nashe’s works can be said to refocus the notion of what vernacular literature can or should do.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2015.
Emneord [en]
Thomas Nashe, early modern literature, Lenten Stuff, commitment in literature, elizabethan literature
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Humaniora, Engelsk litteratur; Humaniora, Litteraturvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-45655OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-45655DiVA, id: diva2:845079
Konferanse
55e congrès, Société des Anglicistes de l'Enseignement Supérieur, Toulon, Frankrike
Merknad

Ej belagd, 20150929

Tilgjengelig fra: 2015-08-10 Laget: 2015-08-10 Sist oppdatert: 2016-05-03bibliografisk kontrollert

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