14 Pages

Reading the Renaissance: An Introduction

WithJonathan Hart

The Renaissance, which extends from about 1300 to 1700 depending on the country, was originally a rebirth of letters and arts but has to apply to wider cultural change in the face of modernization. The Renaissance is an expanding discipline in which successive generations bring new but related concerns to an archive that is coming more and more to light. The coherence of the collection depends on the relation of text to context and the way the Renaissance relates to the classical past and the modernity and postmodernity it anticipates. The continuities and discontinuities between the classical past and the Renaissance also extend into the present. Contemporary theory and criticism refracts the relation between Greece, Rome, and Renaissance Europe. “Anticipations” includes essays most concerned with specific foreshadowings of later texts in Renaissance texts.