by Theresa M. Kelley
Taking her cue from postmodern interest in allegory as a vehicle
for theory and metafiction, Theresa M. Kelley asks how and why allegory
has survived, despite the influential Romantic critique of it as outmoded
and artificial. In this wide-ranging study of allegory in theory and
literary practice from the late Renaissance to the present, she offers
a surprising answer to these questions: that allegory has survived
the last four hundred years by redirecting the newly dominant modes
of realism and empiricism towards its own, quite different, ends.
In this context Romanticism represents the pivot of allegory's survival.
Cut loose from its early theological system of referents, allegory
has proved its strength especially when it persists against against
well-defined odds: not only in the age of Romanticism, but also in
the late Renaissance, the seventeenth century and the Neoclassical
period, the Victorian era, and the postmodern present day.
1997 384 pp.