John Donne, Body and Soul [NOOK Book]

Overview

For centuries readers have struggled to fuse the seemingly scattered pieces of Donne’s works into a complete image of the poet and priest. In John Donne, Body and Soul, Ramie Targoff offers a way to read Donne as a writer who returned again and again to a single great subject, one that connected to his deepest intellectual and emotional concerns.

Reappraising Donne’s oeuvre in pursuit of the struggles and commitments that connect his most disparate works, Targoff convincingly ...

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John Donne, Body and Soul

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Overview

For centuries readers have struggled to fuse the seemingly scattered pieces of Donne’s works into a complete image of the poet and priest. In John Donne, Body and Soul, Ramie Targoff offers a way to read Donne as a writer who returned again and again to a single great subject, one that connected to his deepest intellectual and emotional concerns.

Reappraising Donne’s oeuvre in pursuit of the struggles and commitments that connect his most disparate works, Targoff convincingly shows that Donne believed throughout his life in the mutual necessity of body and soul. In chapters that range from his earliest letters to his final sermon, Targoff reveals that Donne’s obsessive imagining of both the natural union and the inevitable division between body and soul is the most continuous and abiding subject of his writing.

“Ramie Targoff achieves the rare feat of taking early modern theology seriously, and of explaining why it matters. Her book transforms how we think about Donne.”—Helen Cooper, University of Cambridge

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

"Targoff argues that recent scholarship on Donne has overstressed social and political concerns ('apostasy and ambition') at the expense of the 'great subject' that interested him: 'the parting between body and soul.' Arguing that Donne engaged in protracted 'brooding' on this subject throughout his literary career, the author pursues this theme through Donne's works, beginning with a helpful look at his epistles (in prose and verse).... Successful are the treatments of Donne's extended prose, including the Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, in which Targoff smartly traces 'Donne's idea of proleptic putrefaction--that through physical deterioration now, he might reduce his time as a corpse later.' Particular praise is due the last chapter on the frequently taught final sermon Deaths Duell, where Donne remains, writes Targoff, 'fraught with anxiety about the logistics of his material reassemblage.' She offers a strong new interpretation of the frontispiece to the Duell. Teachers of Donne's prose will find much of value here; students of the verse will also be assisted, though likely not persuaded, by the new reading of the Second Anniversarie proffered."

Renaissance Quarterly
An original, persuasive, useful, and thoroughly readable contribution to Donne studies.

— Gayle Gaskill

John Donne Journal
Clearly this is a book of basic significance for a study of Donne. . . . There is much to learn from it.

— John T. Shawcross

Studies in English Literature
Targoff's argument is lucid, sharply focused, and immediately convincing: this is the Donne whom I was taught and who continues to engage and move my students.

— Stephen B. Dobranski

Renaissance Quarterly - Gayle Gaskill
"An original, persuasive, useful, and thoroughly readable contribution to Donne studies."
John Donne Journal - John T. Shawcross
"Clearly this is a book of basic significance for a study of Donne. . . . There is much to learn from it."
Studies in English Literature - Stephen B. Dobranski
"Targoff's argument is lucid, sharply focused, and immediately convincing: this is the Donne whom I was taught and who continues to engage and move my students."
Choice
"Targoff argues that recent scholarship on Donne has overstressed social and political concerns ('apostasy and ambition') at the expense of the 'great subject' that interested him: 'the parting between body and soul.' Arguing that Donne engaged in protracted 'brooding' on this subject throughout his literary career, the author pursues this theme through Donne's works, beginning with a helpful look at his epistles (in prose and verse).... Successful are the treatments of Donne's extended prose, including the Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, in which Targoff smartly traces 'Donne's idea of proleptic putrefaction—that through physical deterioration now, he might reduce his time as a corpse later.' Particular praise is due the last chapter on the frequently taught final sermon Deaths Duell, where Donne remains, writes Targoff, 'fraught with anxiety about the logistics of his material reassemblage.' She offers a strong new interpretation of the frontispiece to the Duell. Teachers of Donne's prose will find much of value here; students of the verse will also be assisted, though likely not persuaded, by the new reading of the Second Anniversarie proffered."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226789781
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,412,014
  • File size: 1,001 KB

Meet the Author

Ramie Targoff is professor of English at Brandeis University. She is the author of Common Prayer: The Language of Public Devotion in Early Modern England, also published by the University of Chicago Press.    
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Table of Contents

       List of Illustrations
       Acknowledgements

       Introduction

1     Letters
2     Songs and Sonnets
3     The Anniversaries
4     Holy Sonnets 5     Devotions
6     Deaths Duell

       Notes
       Index
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