On behalf of the Age of Andrew Marvell?
in Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell
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Andrew Marvell was not only a figure of shadows and hesitations. Different schools and generations of historicism have brought close to the literary and political worlds in which Marvell worked. Echoes and adaptations drew Marvell towards a world of ancient and modern poetry, but his textual encounters were not only intimate affiliations. The Age of Marvell reminds of how this world was bound together in a career and in writings and affinities. Yet how difficult it is to see that world in exact outline, with sharp divisions and clear lines of association. A blurred picture, an inexact image, Ludwig Wittgenstein once suggested, might be more useful, less distorting, than a clear picture. The blurred lines of affiliation and affection in the blurred picture, the fluidity or mobility or uncertainty revealed in Marvell's writings offer the correct degree of resolution for an image of his age.

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