Chamber Music: Elizabethan Sonnet-Sequences and the Pleasure of Criticism
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.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 288 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
'The book achieves to an extraordinary degree what literary criticism typically proposes: it introduces us to challenging texts from an earlier period, shows us how to read (and write) them, and sends us back to them with renewed energies and skills.'
Donald Cheney, Department of English, University of Massachusetts
'[Chamber Music] starts with the premise that the present direction of writing about literature in literature-departments is self-defeating: on the newest critical topics we are solemnly talking only to smaller and smaller numbers of each other, about matters that no one else can be interested in, and that no social funding structure will eventually support more than marginally. Professor Kuin tries to find a way to reinoculate all of us with the humane joy of reading which makes a canonical text a liberating self-discovery, and which can begin to raise the lives of the young barbarians we are supposed to be teaching from clumping nescience to what G.B. Shaw called an enlightened levity.'
A. Kent Hieatt, Professor Emeritus, University of Western Ontario
Roger Kuin is a member of the Department of English, McLaughlin College, York University.
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