The Poetics of Personification by James J. PaxsonThe Poetics of Personification by James J. Paxson

The Poetics of Personification

byJames J. Paxson

Paperback | April 2, 2009

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Literary personification has long been taken for granted as an important aspect of Western narrative; Paul de Man had given it prominence as "the master trope of poetic discourse." James Paxson here offers a critical and theoretical appraisal of personification in the light of developments in poststructuralist thought. He reassesses early theories and examines the allegorical texts of Prudentius, Chaucer, Langland and Spenser to show how personification works as a complex artistic tool for revealing and advertising the problems and limits inherent in poetic or verbal creation.
Title:The Poetics of PersonificationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.51 inPublished:April 2, 2009Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521106311

ISBN - 13:9780521106313

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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. A history of personification theory; 2. Towards a taxonomy of tropes; 3. Narrative level, personification, and character ontology in Prudentius' Psychomachia; 4. A phenomenology of personification; 5. Personification, dreams, and narrative structure in Piers Plowman B; 6. Narrating the personification of personification in The Faerie Queene; Conclusion; Taxonomy II and future directions in personification theory; Notes; Works cited; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"Paxson concedes the ahistoricizing tendencies of his poetics in his final chapter, which contains a short, provocative meditation on some of the questions one might ask about the cultural contexts from which the texts that make extensive use of personification arise....Paxson's close readings of particular allegorical texts are always interesting." Clare Kinney, Studies in the Age of Chaucer