The Virgilian Pastoral Tradition - From the Renaissance to the Modern Era

Lindheim, Nancy

Published by Duquesne
ISBN 10: 0820703729 / ISBN 13: 9780820703725
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Synopsis: The Virgilian Pastoral Tradition contributes significantly to the ongoing dialogue about the scope and meaning of pastoral as a genre, as Nancy Lindheim argues for a more culturally and aesthetically complex awareness of what the term has meant in the course of Western Literary Studies. Rather than assuming that pastoral follows a course charted by previous commentators--defined by themes of nature, love, innocence, escape, or endless happiness--Lindheim instead revisits Virgil's eclogues, the primary influence on the pastoral in subsequent Literary Studies. In doing so, Lindheim identifies seminal Virgilian themes not fully acknowledged by previous critics: human vulnerability, cosmic and political injustice, the impulse for compassion and sympathy, and the social implications of the poet's imagination. As Lindheim emphasizes, pastoral has long suffered from the condescension of those who judge it as too narrow, too didactic, or too immature a genre. The Virgilian Pastoral Tradition strives to redress this persistent imbalance in critical judgment, to influence current critical discourse concerning pastoral, and to suggest how other modern and postmodern writers may be seen as heirs of the pastoral tradition as well.

About the Author: NANCY LINDHEIM is professor emerita of English, having retired from the University of Toronto in 2002. Her other publications include The Structures of Sidney's Arcadia.

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