The Poetics of Inconstancy

Etienne Durand and the End of Renaissance Verse

By Hoyt Rogers

The Poetics of Inconstancy

242 pp., 6 x 9, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9260-2
    Published: January 1997

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies

The transformation of Late Petrarchism from earlier stages reflects a profound shift in cultural values--a 'crisis of the Renaissance' that generated new perspectives in poetic theory and practice. Broadly, this book identifies a distinctive 'poetics of inconstancy' that came to the fore at the end of the sixteenth century and pervaded the love verse of the age. At the same time, as a study based on the inductive method, the book takes as its point of departure a single poet: Etienne Durand. Because of his frequently anthologized 'Stances à l'Inconstance,' Durand is often singled out as 'the poet of inconstancy.' This study, however, identifies the theme of universal change as a hallmark of Durand's contemporaries as well--a signal of a stylistic revolution that heralded the end of Renaissance verse.