Barrett, Chris. “Allegraphy and The Faerie Queene’s Significantly Unsignifying Ecology.” Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, vol. 56, no. 1, Winter 2016, pp. 1-21. Project Muse.
This essay undertakes two tasks. First, it suggests that the narrative elements within an allegorical text (here, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene) that do not participate in the allegory might rather belong to an expressive mode related to but distinct from the allegorical. I call this mode the “allegraphical”; while allegory depends on multivalent signification, allegraphy celebrates episodes of resistance to the imposition of such conceits. Second, this essay explores three such allegraphical phenomena within The Faerie Queene. These case studies—focusing on a woman, a horse, and a topographical feature—refuse to signify allegorically, instead maintaining their own subject-making literality. Their allegraphical labors outline an ecological hermeneutic—an interpretive practice that acknowledges the meaning-making possibility of a text’s interconnected elements when they refuse to be conceptually instrumentalized. [CB]
Nazarian, Cynthia. “Sympathy Wounds, Rivers of Blood: The Politics of Fellow Feeling in Spenser’s Faerie Queene and A View of the State of Ireland.” Modern Philology, vol. 113, no. 3, February 2016, pp. 331-352. Academic Search Complete.
This essay discusses the ‘violent’ depiction of sympathy in Spenser’s Faerie Queene and A View of the State of Ireland, showing the ways in which Spenser’s texts posit fellow-feeling as a hazard to both personal agency and the state’s law. It shows how, in Spenser’s works, sympathy threatens to immobilize the violence that shapes the moral and political terrain of Faerie and Ireland and that, as a result, fellow-feeling must be undone, foreclosed through exclusion and allegoresis in order to establish law and sovereignty over the various evils that lurk in the woods. It identifies and explores two central mechanisms for managing sympathy in Spenser’s poem: the dissolution of ‘evil’ characters into the natural landscape and the “allegorical turn” or the framing of allegories-within-allegories through which characters produce readings of one another, interpreting away pain by reading through it. This essay furthermore argues that naturalizing vocabulary and the turn to allegory are means not only to justify but also to safeguard violence, ensuring that it can continue its regulatory function unhindered by pathos and the desire to lay aside the bloody sword. [CN]
Nicholson, Catherine. “‘Against the Brydale Day’: Envy and the Meanings of Spenserian Marriage.” ELH, vol. 83, no. 1, Spring 2016, pp. 43-70. Project Muse.
Marriage has served generations of Spenser critics as the preeminent figure of the poet’s spiritual, aesthetic, and authorial ambition. But to see Spenserian marriage as a purely positive symbol of, in Kathleen Williams’ words, “the necessary concord of opposites on which the world depends, and individual human welfare also,” is to miss half its meaning: both as a narrative event and as a figure of authorial propriety, Spenserian marriage secures the welfare of certain individuals at the direct expense of others. This essay reads Spenserian marriage from the perspective of those disappointed outsiders, as a forced departure from the norms of friendship, hospitality, and literary community. Far from signaling the poet’s blissful entitlement to the fruits of his imaginative labors, I argue, marriage constellates his anxieties about the disavowals on which sexual fidelity, narrative form, and poetic authority all depend. [CN]
O’Keeffe, Tadhg. “Kilcolman Castle, Co. Cork: a New Interpretation of Edmund Spenser’s Residence in Plantation Munster.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology, vol. 20, no. 1, April 2016, pp. 1-17. SpringerLink Journals.
Edmund Spenser was among the Englishmen who were granted estates when large parts of Munster in southern Ireland were planted under Elizabeth I’s authority in the late sixteenth century. His residence was a relatively old and regionally insignificant castle, Kilcolman, but while he was there he wrote part of The Faerie Queene, one of the seminal works in the history of English verse. Thanks to this association with Spenser, no Irish building is as familiar to students of early modernity as Kilcolman. This paper presents an interpretation of the use of space in the castle prior to his arrival, and attempts to explain the alterations that he is known from archaeological excavations to have made to it. [TO]
Parker, Ian C. “Marvell’s ‘Upon Appleton House’ and Spenser.” Notes and Queries, March 2016, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 48-52. Oxford UP.
Abstract not available.
Rosenfeld, Colleen Ruth. “The Artificial Life of Rhyme.” ELH, vol. 83., no. 1, Spring 2016, pp. 71-99. Project Muse.
Taking up Philip Sidney’s brief but provocative claim that the “chief life” of modern verse “standeth in that like sounding of words, which we call rhyme,” “The Artificial Life of Rhyme” asks what it might have meant to locate something called “life” in the notoriously conspicuous piece of artifice called rhyme. By coupling a study of early modern poetic and rhetorical theory with a close reading of the Maleger episode in book 2 of Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, this essay argues that the Spenserian stanza acts as an engine of resurrection in a battle that ties the art of poetic production to the heretical longevity of Arthur’s foe. In conclusion, this essay proposes that artifice as its most conspicuous—literary ornament—also acted as cause, both material and formal, of early modern poiesis. [CR]