Remembered Words: Essays on Genre, Realism, and Emblems

ISBN : 9780198856979

Alastair Fowler
320 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Remembered Words is a selection of Alastair Fowler's essays on genre, realism, and the emblem (three interrelated subjects), published over six decades. It offers readers a way to arrive at a sense of how approaches to these subjects have changed over that period. Specifically, it shows how genre has come to be understood in terms of family resemblance theory. Remembered Words argues that realism can be seen as altering historically, so that Renaissance realism, for example, differs from those of later periods. Similar changes are traced in the emblem, which Fowler shows to be not only a particular genre, but an element of various kinds of realism. Famous passages in ancient literature are remembered in the familiar emblems of the Renaissance; and Renaissance emblems form the basis of metaphors in later literature. Meanwhile, the general approach of the critic and the reader has been altering over the years-as becomes evident when one takes into account the time-scale of sixty years (an unusually long working life for a critic). Modern theoretical approaches-which are often casually regarded as self-evident-may appear less inevitable and more arbitrary. This is not to say that they are necessarily wrong, just that they need to be argued for. Remembered Words is intended for senior undergraduates and for graduate students, who may use it to form ideas of Fowler's approach and that of his contemporaries and predecessors over the last half century.


1 Emblems of Temperance in The Faerie Queene, Book II
2 The Life and Death of Literary Forms: Forms and the Literary Model
3 The 'Better Marks' of Jonson's To Penshurst
4 Pastoral Instruction in 'As You Like It'
5 Paradise Regained': Some Problems of Style
6 The Paradoxical Machinery of The Rape of the Lock
7 Georgic and Pastoral: Laws of Genre in the Seventeenth Century
8 Twelfth Night and Epiphany
9 'Cut without hands': Herbert's Christian altar
10 Shakespeare's Renaissance Realism
11 Relevance
12 The Emblem as a Literary Genre
13 Lord's Space in Seventeenth-Century Britain
14 The Formation of Genres in the Renaissance and After
15 Gavin Douglas: Romantic Humanist
16 Anagrams
17 Ut Architectura Poesis
18 Perspective and Realism in the Renaissance
19 Penshurst Revisited
Further Reading


Alastair Fowler, Regius Professor Emeritus of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, has been Professor of English at the University of Virginia, and was a Fellow of Brasenose College 1962-71. Since 1957 he has divided his time between the USA and Britain. His publications include an annotated edition of Paradise Lost (1968, 1990); a study of genre (Kinds of Literature, 1987, 2019); and a History of English Literature (1987). Some of his studies of genre have been translated into French, Portuguese, and Chinese. His How to Write (2006) is a best-seller.