Critical interest in effectively began in 1935 w h e n Pierre Janelle, in his study of Southwell, briefly discussed Pontanus' Poeticarum Institutionum Libri Tres} The point of Janelle's discussion was, of course, to relate the English Jesuit's verse to contemporary Jesuit ideas on poetry - he intended neither to survey as a whole nor to consider it except in relation to one man's poetic practice.2 Nonetheless, Janelle both stimulated further work on Counter-Reformation poetics and, broadly speaking, set the pattern for h o w that work would be conducted. Subsequent research tended to deal with specific aspects of CounterReformation poetics in relation to the writings of individual poets, such as Crashaw. Very little comparative research was done on the post-Tridentine theorists themselves, except notably for studies m u c h concerned to compare Gracian with Tesauro; furthermore, Tesauro's / Cannocchiale Aristotelico / appeared to be regarded as at once the terminus and the s u m m a of CounterReformation poetics.3 There seemed to be an agreement that to have read Tesauro would supply answers to most questions about Catholic poetic theory after the Council of Trent This essay offers a less familiar approach to Counter-Reformation poetics.4
Parergon – Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)
Published: Apr 3, 1987
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