English 203

Graduate Readings: Edmund Spenser

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2009 Landreth, David
Landreth, David
M 3-6 301 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Spenser, E., The Faerie Queene, ed. Hamilton; Spenser, E., Shorter Poems; Spenser, E., A View of the Present State of Ireland


Sidney wrote that a poet's task was to "grow in effect another nature." No poet in English has fulfilled that charge more luxuriantly than Spenser. The plan of the semester will be to roam around in the leisurely, delight-filled capaciousness of The Faerie Queene, with the aim that each of us find herself at home somewhere in this alienated version of our own world. The tension between delight and didacticism, leisure and urgency, is central to any such accommodation; I'm also interested in questions of materiality and of landscape in the fiction, and I expect our inquiries will be shaped by your preoccupations as well. We'll take some detours into the shorter poems along the way, and we will try too to reckon with the genocidal despair by which Spenser articulates the project of making a home in the alien terrain of Ireland.

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