is shared by all four hymns, the way in which the initial error is revealed and the amendment is proposed differentiates the earthly hymns from the heavenly hymns. In HL and HB , the initial attempt to praise love and beauty in universal and cosmogonical terms is abandoned when the speaker turns to his own experience and examines it in terms of what might be called a Platonist phenomenology. The stanzas of HL in particular provide mesmerizing visions of how desire generates the imaginative and cognitive processes that in turn give a new object to desire
Figures of comparison and repetition in Spenser’s Cantos of
Mutabilitie and Donne’s Anniversaries
Milgate (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), xxxiv.
94 Anniversaries , 239.
95 Lewalski, Donne’s ‘Anniversaries’ and the Poetry of Praise , 50.
96 Anniversaries , 240. See Edward W. Tayler, Donne’s Idea of a Woman: Structure and Meaning in ‘The Anniversaries’ (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991).
97 On allegory in the Anniversaries , see Lewalski, Donne’s ‘Anniversaries’ and the Poetry of Praise , 142–7; also Anniversaries , 293–317.
98 G.W.F. Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit , trans. A.V. Miller (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979
the proposal that such attention might best come through a
phenomenological approach. For it seems clear that phenomenology
quickly embeds itself within a visuality that supplants and
supplements orality. In other words, the eye and the ear change
places, but without ever being able to eliminate the residue of the
one in the other, like a foreign body, continuing to work
Women and the work of conversion in early modern England
Claire Canavan and Helen Smith
similarly capacious, embracing a
‘turning in position, direction, destination’. 6 Gunter’s
‘staggering’, then, can be read as the necessary
stumbling that allows for a change of direction; in the terms of the
queer phenomenology proposed by Sara Ahmed, ‘in order to
become orientated . . . we must first experience
disorientation’. 7 Gunter’s conversion or
to project modern conceptions of experience onto our understanding
of the past has been extremely productive in pushing scholars to
read Renaissance texts in new lights, making new space for the
deeply material engagements present in contemporary descriptions and
representations of passionate experience. What this emphasis on a
thoroughly holistic ‘historical phenomenology’ has
gendered behaviour. As Sara Ahmed argues in Queer Phenomenology ,
that gender ‘is an effect of how bodies take up objects, which
involves how they occupy space by being occupied in one way or
another’. 35 In recent scholarship, conventual space has
become a crucial locus for the study of the mutual influence of
materiality, gender, and religious identity. Offering a compelling study
editors emphasise in their
Introduction, several of the book’s contributors explore how
‘pre-Cartesian psychophysiology may have affected early modern
self-experience’, and the ways in which ‘the very language
of physiology … helps determine phenomenology’. 6 While Reading the
Early Modern Passions includes work that explores methods and
approaches beyond Galenic humoralism – for example, the
and witty playing with words.’ 25 Excerpting passages in this way does
little service to the complexity of Hegel’s thought on art and
poetry, of course, and it would be necessary to look more carefully
at the whole of the Aesthetics and the discussions elsewhere
in his work (for example in the Phenomenology of Spirit and
the Encyclopedia ). 26 But, partial though these statements are in
W.T. MacCary, Friends and Lovers: The
Phenomenology of Desire in Shakespearean Comedy (Columbia
University Press, 1985).
D.L. Miller, The Poem’s Two Bodies
(Princeton University Press, 1988).
J. Nohrnberg, The Analogy of The Faerie
Poetic tradition in The Parliament of Fowls and the Mutabilitie
Reading (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983 ), 162.
Quilligan, Milton’s Spenser , 161. Judith Ferster , ‘ Reading
Nature: The Phenomenology of Reading in the Parliament of
Fowls ’, Mediaevalia , 3
( 1977 ), 189–213, makes a similar point
about the Parliament of Fowls when she writes ‘the poem chooses
to demonstrate the possible creativity of loving discourse with the
world through the part of the chain of discourse it occupies: the