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Futile Pleasures – Early Modern Literature and the Limits of Utility - Fordham Scholarship Online
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Futile Pleasures: Early Modern Literature and the Limits of Utility

Corey McEleney


Futile Pleasures examines the contradictory role that pleasure played in early modern English writers’ attempts to justify the utility and value of poetry. Drawing on the methodological resources of deconstruction and queer theory, the book offers close readings of works by William Shakespeare, Roger Ascham, Thomas Nashe, Edmund Spenser, and John Milton, exploring the ambivalence these writers displayed toward the possibility of poetry’s vain futility. Tracing that ambivalence forward to the modern era, the book also shows how contemporary critics have recapitulated Renaissance humanist ideals ... More

Keywords: close reading, deconstruction, futility, humanism, pleasure, queer theory, redemption, renaissance, utility

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780823272655
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823272655.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Corey McEleney, author
Fordham University