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Chapter 2 - The Self

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2020

Andrew Wallace
Affiliation:
Carleton University, Ottawa
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Summary

Chapter Two studies how Rome figures in shifting conceptions of the problem of the self. The chapter’s emphasis is on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writers and texts, ranging from Edmund Spenser and John Donne to Sir Thomas Wilson and John Milton. English perspectives on Rome, however, were mediated to a significant extent by continental writers such as Petrarch, Joachim Du Bellay, and Michel Eyquem de Montaigne. Writers trained within (and in Petrarch’s case, actively forging) the traditions of humanist inquiry celebrated their commitment to returning ad fontes. In practice, however, their engagements with a ‘text’ as complex and ramified as Rome risked leaving them endlessly navigating tributary brooks, creeks, streams, and rivers rather than reposing comfortably at the source. The chapter brings together scenes of schooling, staring, and travel in order to study tensions between understandings of the self as being an immured condition of metaphysical finitude, on the one hand, and as being formed via the absorption of capabilities that arrive from the outside, on the other.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Presence of Rome in Medieval and Early Modern Britain
Texts, Artefacts and Beliefs
, pp. 72 - 126
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • The Self
  • Andrew Wallace, Carleton University, Ottawa
  • Book: The Presence of Rome in Medieval and Early Modern Britain
  • Online publication: 18 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108866071.004
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To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • The Self
  • Andrew Wallace, Carleton University, Ottawa
  • Book: The Presence of Rome in Medieval and Early Modern Britain
  • Online publication: 18 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108866071.004
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • The Self
  • Andrew Wallace, Carleton University, Ottawa
  • Book: The Presence of Rome in Medieval and Early Modern Britain
  • Online publication: 18 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108866071.004
Available formats
×