Friday, May 13, 2016

Alternative canon…

… Mortals Listening to Mortals - Washington Free Beacon. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… While there is no denying the greatness of Shakespeare and Donne, they were great not because they incorporated the Petrarchan style, but because they reined in its excesses, and re-introduced elements of the earlier, simpler verse that the Petrarchans had displaced in fashionable circles. This style, which Williams somewhat confusingly calls the “Native” school (confusing because, if you go back far enough, the Latinate forms and rhetorical strategies of the school were hardly English) was itself a period of poetic greatness; the Petrarchans were not the beginning of modern English poetry, but merely a bridge between an earlier major school and the greats of the next century.

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