Spenserian Moments

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Product Details
Belknap Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.4 X 1.8 inches | 2.12 pounds

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About the Author
Gordon Teskey, Professor of English at Harvard University, is a preeminent scholar of Spenser and Milton. He is editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Paradise Lost and author of Allegory and Violence, Delirious Milton (Harvard), and The Poetry of John Milton (Harvard), which won the Christian Gauss Award for literary criticism. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Humanities Center, is an Honored Scholar of the Milton Society of America, and delivered the Kathleen Williams Lecture on Spenser at the International Spenser Society in 2017.
If any book can restore Spenser to his rightfully prominent place in studies of Renaissance literature--and poetic and philosophical history more broadly--this is the one. Gordon Teskey makes the strongest case in decades for Spenser's brilliance and importance to both literary history and contemporary theory. The elegance and wit of this book, and the sheer force of intellect on display, will draw in any reader who has the good fortune to open it.--Melissa E. Sanchez, University of Pennsylvania
Gordon Teskey is among the most consistently surprising and interesting literary critics writing today, about any period or genre, and Spenser has always been at the heart of his concerns. Spenserian Moments will take its place on the shelf of necessary books about the poet's poet.--Jeff Dolven, Princeton University
A tour de force and makes what is surely the best case for reading Spenser: that it is his open thinking that matters, not the particular substance of the poem. It will surely set the standard for future readings of Spenser's work.--Andrew Hadfield "Times Literary Supplement" (5/15/2020 12:00:00 AM)
Teskey demonstrates [that] those willing to look past the poem's daunting reputation and its bristling armature of scholarly impedimenta might discover a lifelong--indeed, life-sustaining--obsession.--Catherine Nicholson "New York Review of Books" (7/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Teskey has a deep understanding of Spenser's learning, language, and sense of tradition...Well worth reading.--Jonathan Locke Hart "Renaissance and Reformation" (2/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Refigures the poet as an improvisatory artist whose work is most valuable as a continuous practice of thinking about aesthetic, moral, and philosophical issues...At its best, Spenserian Moments cogently captures the experience of reading the poem for those of us who love it.--Mark Heberle "Claremont Review of Books" (10/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Teskey's is among the strongest of this year's Spenserian voices...Persuades by elegance and power of statement...There are wonderful things here.--Joseph Lowenstein "Studies in English Literature"
Magisterial...The volume confirms Teskey as the most intellectually bold, expansive, and creative critic of Spenser currently writing...Spenserian Moments conveys less a method of reading than a way of being in the company of Spenser's poetry that learns from and replicates some of its features as Teskey describes them...My admiration for Teskey's work does not imply agreement at every turn: his unparalleled talent for concise critical characterization and aphoristic contrast demands and spurs engagement rather than acceptance; his openness to thought provokes open thought.--Joe Moshenska "Milton Quarterly" (10/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)