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What Is Pastoral?

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ISBN-10: 0226015173

ISBN-13: 9780226015170

Edition: 1996

Authors: Paul J. Alpers

List price: $28.00
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Description:

One of the enduring traditions of Western literary history, pastoral is often mischaracterized as a catchall for literature about rural themes and nature in general. In What Is Pastoral?, distinguished literary historian Paul Alpers argues that pastoral is based upon a fundamental fiction--that the lives of shepherds or other socially humble figures represent the lives of human beings in general. Ranging from Virgil's Eclogues to Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs, from Shakespeare and Cervantes to Hardy and Frost, this work brings the story of the pastoral tradition, previously limited to classical and Renaissance literature, into the twentieth century. Pastoral reemerges in this account not as a vehicle of nostalgia for some Golden Age, nor of escape to idyllic landscapes, but as a mode bearing witness to the possibilities and problems of human community and shared experience in the real world. A rich and engrossing book, What Is Pastoral? will soon take its place as the definitive study of pastoral literature. "Alpers succeeds brilliantly. . . . [He] offers . . . a wealth of new insight into the origins, development, and flowering of the pastoral."--Ann-Maria Contarino, Renaissance Quarterly
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Book details

List price: $28.00
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 6/1/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 444
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

Preface
Acknowledgments
Frequently
Cited Works Prologue
Representative Anecdotes and Ideas of Pastoral
Mode and Genre
Pastoral Convention
Representative Shepherds
Pastoral Speakers
Pastoral Lyrics and Their Speakers
Modern Pastoral Lyricism
Pastoral Narration
Pastoral Novels
Index