Volume 68, Issue 3 | September 2007

Author Title
David Scott Wilson-Okamura The French Aesthetic of Spenser's Feminine Rhyme  
Since the Restoration, feminine rhyme has been restricted in English poetry almost exclusively to satire and comedy. This usage was already becoming established in the mid-1590s; Edmund Spenser, though, in the same decade when other English poets were beginning to dismiss feminine rhyme for serious subjects, reverses course and begin using it for epic. Some of the resulting rhymes are comic, but many were not. To account for his non-comic rhymes, we review the history, theory, and practice of complex rhymes in French poetry from the same period, especially la rime féminine. Classified as a subset or variant of la rime riche, feminine rhyme is used in French verse for a variety of subjects, including love poems, drinking poems, and epic. It does not convey a particular theme; the difficulty, rather, of making such rhymes embellishes whatever theme happens to be in play. Spenser's use of feminine rhyme conforms with the French practice, ranging from satire in Mother Hubberds Tale, to epic in his Faerie Queene and love in his Epithalamion. It demonstrates the importance of European, as well as native, models for basic elements in his English prosody and shows also his independence, while writing in Ireland, from trends at home.
Ricardo Padrón Against Apollo: Góngora's Soledad primera and the Mapping of Empire  
It has been said that the diatribe against navigation in Luis de Góngora's Soledad primera represents a poetic cartography of the world, but this analogy with maps and mapping has never been pursued in detail. This essay explores the cartographic and anti-cartographic dimensions of this passage as a critical response to the conjunction of vision, knowledge and power that emerged in early modernity and that can be most clearly glimpsed in Renaissance cartography.
Barbara Fuchs Don Quijote I and the Forging of National History  
In this essay, I show how Don Quijote I systematically questions the verities of national history by placing them on a continuum with chivalric fiction and foregrounding the appeal of pseudo-histories. Moreover, by tracing through the text the figure of Archbishop Turpin-author of a purported history of Roland, Charlemagne, and Saint James-I argue that Iberia 's peculiar position as the Saracen other of the French medieval imaginary complicates the forging of Spanish national history both in chivalric and religious terms.
Guenter Leypoldt Aesthetic Specialists and Public Intellectuals: Ruskin, Emerson, and Contemporary Professionalism  
This essay explores how today's public intellectual emerges from the presumption that literary-aesthetic knowledge conveys privileged access to the social domain. The (late) romantic "invention" of the aesthetic specialist – who "reads" cultural core values in the gestalts of architectural form (Ruskin) or "hears" them in the musicality of literary style (Emerson) – provided nineteenth-century intellectuals with narratives of legitimation that helped them cope with the effects of cultural diversification and professionalism. The ways in which these narratives reappear in twentieth-century discourse raises important questions about how literary-aesthetic knowledge can be legitimated today.
Author Title
Linda Georgianna The Grounds of English Literature by Christopher Cannon
Carroll B. Johnson Writers on the Market: Consuming Literature in Early Seventeenth-Century Spain by Donald Gilbert-Santamaria
Dennis Kezar Delirious Milton: The Fate of the Poet in Modernity by Gordon Teskey
Donald G. Marshall The Triumph of Imperfection: The Silver Age of Sociocultural Moderation in Europe, 1815-1848 by Virgil Nemoianu
Zsolt Komáromy About Face: German Physiognomic Thought from Lavater to Auschwitz by Richard T. Gray
Brian McHale The Influence of Post-Modernism on Contemporary Writing: An Interdisciplinary Study by David Punter
Steven Shaviro The Souls of Cyberfolk: Posthumanism as Vernacular Theory by Thomas Foster

Modern Language Quarterly | Department of English, Box 354330 | University of Washington | Seattle, WA 98195-4430