Introduction
Tightrope walking in an afflicted style
in The art of <i>The Faerie Queene</i>
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The introduction outlines the theoretical approach taken in the book as a whole, situating its arguments both in the practice of close reading and in Shklovsky’s thinking about the artificially distanced nature of poetic language. It considers the relationships between formalist and historicist approaches to Renaissance poetry and Spenser in particular in the light of 21st-century trends in criticism.

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