Inescapable Romance: Studies in the Poetics of a Mode.
Defining “romance” as a form that simultaneously seeks and postpones a particular end, revelation, or object, Patricia Parker interprets its implications and transformations in the works of four major poets—Ariosto, Spenser, Milton, and Keats. In placing the texts within their literary and historical contexts, Professor Parker provides at once a literary history of romance as genre, a fresh reading of individual poems, and an exploration of the continuing romance of figurative language itself.
Originally published in 1979.
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About the Author
Patricia Parker received her M.A. in English at the University of Toronto and taught for three years in Tanzania, whose President Julius Nyerere also translated Shakespeare into Kiswahili. After teaching at the University of East Africa, she completed her Ph.D. at Yale, in Comparative Literature, and taught for 11 years at the University of Toronto. First invited to Stanford as a Visiting Professor in 1986, she came to Stanford permanently in 1988 as a Professor in both English and Comparative Literature. She has also taught as a Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley and as a member of the core faculty at the School of Criticism and Theory (Cornell University, 1998). She is the author of four books (Inescapable Romance, a study of romance from Ariosto to Wallace Stevens; Literary Fat Ladies: Rhetoric, Gender, Property; Shakespeare from the Margins; and Shakespearean Intersections) and co-editor of five collections of essays on criticism, theory, and cultural studies, including Shakespeare and the Question of Theory and Women, Race and Writing in the Early Modern Period. She has lectured widely in France, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and other parts of the world, as well as at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Chicago, Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and other universities; as Gauss Seminar lecturer at Princeton, Shakespeare's Birthday lecturer at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Northrop Frye Professor lecturer at the University of Toronto, and Paul Gottschalk lecturer at Cornell University; and has served on the Advisory Board of the English Institute. In 2003-4, she organized an international conference and public festival at Stanford devoted to “Shakespeare in Asia.” She has also worked with students to create performance-based programs in the community. She currently teaches courses on Shakespeare (including Global Shakespeares), the Bible and Literature, Epic and Empire and other topics. In addition to books-in-progress on Shakespeare, rhetoric, race, and gender, she is the General Editor of the Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia, which will be released online as a global reference work free to anyone in the world with access to the internet.