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Fortunate Travelers: Reading for the Plot in Sixteenth-Century England

Fortunate Travelers: Reading for the Plot in Sixteenth-Century England LORNA HUTSON FortunateTravelers: Reading forthe Plot England in Sixteenth-Century to turnthe pages of Elizabethan novellae unless No ONE BOTHERS the theyare examiningthe source of a Shakespeare play or attempting by now of taskof tracingthe history the novel.But the projectof excaratherdiscredited vatingthe "origins"of the English novel fromthe mire of Elizabethan prose fiction has so obviouslybeen a failurethatthisin itselfraises a question mark over in the dusty narrativesthat qualifyas "firsts" a certain sort of prose fictionin Palace ofPleasure(1556English. Whydo we findthe storiesin WilliamPainter's Discourses Fenton'sCertaine (1567) so supremelyuninTragicall 57) and Geoffrey when the influencetheyexercised on other writers-of storiesas well teresting probing them with as of drama-was so pervasive? Histories of prose fiction, preciselybecause these modern expectationsof narrativecoherence,are baffled fictions feel even strangerand more remote than formsof storytelling-saints' lives,romances,pilgrimages-that we thinkof as more archaic. We findthem,in a veryreal sense, unreadable: the principleaccordingto whichmaterialhas been or selected and organized, whetherwithinindividual "histories" across a collection of tales, simplyeludes us. What is the common denominatorfor Painter's decade, of novellae fromthe second day of selectionof episodes fromLivy'sfirst of of translations Matteo Boccaccio's Decameron, certainof FrancoisBelleforest's Bandello, of apothegmsfromPlutarch?And if lack of coherence in a collection thought makes it hard forus to come to any conclusionabout whatthe http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Representations University of California Press

Fortunate Travelers: Reading for the Plot in Sixteenth-Century England

Representations , Volume (1) – Jan 1, 1993

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Publisher
University of California Press
Copyright
Copyright 1993 The Regents of the University of California
ISSN
0734-6018
eISSN
1533-855X
DOI
10.2307/2928678
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

LORNA HUTSON FortunateTravelers: Reading forthe Plot England in Sixteenth-Century to turnthe pages of Elizabethan novellae unless No ONE BOTHERS the theyare examiningthe source of a Shakespeare play or attempting by now of taskof tracingthe history the novel.But the projectof excaratherdiscredited vatingthe "origins"of the English novel fromthe mire of Elizabethan prose fiction has so obviouslybeen a failurethatthisin itselfraises a question mark over in the dusty narrativesthat qualifyas "firsts" a certain sort of prose fictionin Palace ofPleasure(1556English. Whydo we findthe storiesin WilliamPainter's Discourses Fenton'sCertaine (1567) so supremelyuninTragicall 57) and Geoffrey when the influencetheyexercised on other writers-of storiesas well teresting probing them with as of drama-was so pervasive? Histories of prose fiction, preciselybecause these modern expectationsof narrativecoherence,are baffled fictions feel even strangerand more remote than formsof storytelling-saints' lives,romances,pilgrimages-that we thinkof as more archaic. We findthem,in a veryreal sense, unreadable: the principleaccordingto whichmaterialhas been or selected and organized, whetherwithinindividual "histories" across a collection of tales, simplyeludes us. What is the common denominatorfor Painter's decade, of novellae fromthe second day of selectionof episodes fromLivy'sfirst of of translations Matteo Boccaccio's Decameron, certainof FrancoisBelleforest's Bandello, of apothegmsfromPlutarch?And if lack of coherence in a collection thought makes it hard forus to come to any conclusionabout whatthe

Journal

RepresentationsUniversity of California Press

Published: Jan 1, 1993

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