Røstvig, Maren-Sofie: Ars Aeterna

Røstvig, Maren-Sofie: Ars Aeterna

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and Other Essays on Literary Structure. With a Preface and Appendix by H. Neville Davies

With passionate energy and great learning these essays expound the poetics, and explore the practice, of Renaissance and early modern writers who structured their work in ways that reflect the divine order then regularly attributed to the text of the Bible, to a God created universe, and to a providential conception of history.

Maren-Sofie Røstvig (1920-2014) demonstrates how literary structure was perceived as not just the business of organizing material in craftsman-like fashion, but as a vital component of meaning that requires and repays our closest attention. The thirteen challenging and pioneering publications conveniently reprinted here have been gathered from a wide variety of sources, some of which are not readily found even in major libraries. All the chosen items come from the final thirty years of the author’s productive career when her thinking was at its most developed. The volume is supplemented by a full list of Røstvig’s many publications, and by an overview of her life in scholarship.


Preface: Maren-Sofie Røstvig 5

Acknowledgements 15


1. Ars Aeterna: Renaissance Poetics and Theories of Divine Creation [1970] 21

2. Structure as Prophecy: The Influence of Biblical Exegesis upon Theories of Literary Structure [1970] 45

3. Images of Perfection [1971] 79

4. Coming to Terms [1999] 105


5. The Shepheardes Calender – A Structural Analysis [1969] 113

6. Syncretistic Imagery and the Unity of Vaughan’s “The World” [1969] 141

7. Structural Images in Cowley and Herbert: A Comparison [1973] 151

8. In ordine di ruota: Circular Structure in “The unfortunate Lover” and Upon Appleton House [1977] 161

9. A Frame of Words: On the Craftsmanship of Samuel Daniel [1979] 183

10. New Perspectives on Fielding’s Narrative Art [1981] 201

11. Golden Phrases: The Poetics of Giles Fletcher [1991] 215

12. The Craftsmanship of God: Some Structural Contexts for the Poems of Mr. John Milton (1645) [1995] 247

13 “Arithmetical Divinitie” and the Unity of Sir Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici [1997] 277


Publications of Maren-Sofie Røstvig 305

ISBN 978-82-7099-838-8, 314 pp., hardcover
Format: 17x24 cm, weight 1 kg, year of publication 2015, language: English

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