What is the art of memory? Rebeca Helfer's intertextual study Spenser's Ruins and the Art of Recollection offers a fresh perspective on the significance of this ancient mnemonic technique to Edmund Spenser's writing and, through this lens, explores the art's complex historical and literary reception. Beginning with the origins of mnemonic strategies in epic tales, Helfer examines how the art of memory speaks to debates about poetry and its place in culture from Plato to Spenser's present day. As Helfer argues, ruins provide memorial spaces for an ongoing dialogue about how story relates to history, and how both relate to edification and empire-building. Through detailed, intertextual readings of The Shepheardes Calender, The Faerie Queene, the Complaints, and other Spenserian works, Helfer demonstrates how the art of memory shapes Spenser's theory and practice of poetry as well as his political view, throughout his career. More broadly, Spenser's Ruins and the Art of Recollection points to new ways of understanding the importance of this art within literary studies.
Number of Pages: 408 Format(s): Hardback - ISBN: 9780802090676 Publication Date:24/07/2012 Listed in:c 1500 to c 1800, Poetry & poets Publisher:University Of Toronto Press