Chapter

Introduction

Antoinina Bevan Zlatar

in Reformation Fictions

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604692
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729430 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604692.003.0001
Introduction

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This chapter provides a methodological introduction to the project. Reformation Fictions sets out to rehabilitate the polemical Protestant dialogue, a generic hybrid born, to borrow Tasso's formulation, of a meeting between poetry and dialectic. A survey of the scholarship shows that these hybrids have fallen between critical stools, all too often dismissed as propaganda in thin fictional disguise by literary critics or mined for evidence by historians. This monograph addresses this lacuna by giving a corpus of some twenty dialogues published in Elizabethan England a literary, historicist, and to a lesser extent, theological reading. Placing these English publications alongside key Lutheran and Calvinist dialogues, and comparing them with contiguous texts in a range of genres, pinpoints the theological and fictional particularities of the corpus. This is a self-consciously interdisciplinary study, situated between social history and new historicist literary criticism.

Keywords: polemical Protestant dialogues; early modern genre theory; literary hybrids; popular Elizabethan literature; new historicism; cultural history

Chapter.  5024 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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