[Review] Michael C. Schoenfeldt, Prayer and Power: George Herbert and Renaissance Courtship.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher T. Hodgkins, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Michael C. Schoenfeldt's Prayer and Power is proving to be the decade's most influential study of George Herbert. It is also one of the best pieces of sustained new historicist criticism in print, which is a compliment less extravagant than it may sound. Schoenfeldt's historicism is tempered by a methodological pluralism which makes his book less tendentious and reductionist than most cultural materialist productions (though he, too, sometimes succumbs). To his great credit, he has listened carefully to all the critics (he is in extensive and fruitful dialogue with the interpretive heritage); he has pored through the archives (his application of contextual materials both obscure and famous is often astonishingly fresh); but, most importantly, he has dwelt with Herbert's poetry, got it into his bones, and frequently achieved what should be the critic's first and final goal: the opening, or reopening, of the text on something like its own terms. This book does not so much translate Herbert into our language as translate us into Herbert's mind—or, more correctly, into one neglected stream of his consciousness.

Additional Information

Journal of English and Germanic Philology 96: 270-72.
Language: English
Date: 1997
Book review, George Herbert, Historicist criticism

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