Urban Poetics in the French Renaissance

1st Edition

Elisabeth Hodges

Published December 17, 2008
Reference - 162 Pages
ISBN 9780754662068 - CAT# Y236424


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The 'city view' forms the jumping off point for this innovative study, which explores how the concept of the city relates to the idea of the self in early modern French narratives. At a time when print culture, cartography and literature emerged and developed together, the 'city view', a picture or topographic image of a city, became one of the most distinctive and popular products of the early modern period. Through a construct she calls 'urban poetics', Elisabeth Hodges draws out the relationship between the city and the self, showing the impact of the city in cultural production to be so profound that it cannot be extricated from what we know by the name of 'subjectivity'. Each chapter of the book brings focus to a crucial text that features descriptions of the self in the city (by the writers Villon, Corrozet, Scève, and Montaigne) and investigate how representations of urban experience prepared the way for the emergence of the autonomous subject. Charting a course between cartography, literary studies, and cultural history, this study opens new vistas on some of the period's defining problems: the book, the subject, the city.

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