Pretexts of Authority: The Rhetoric of Authorship in the Renaissance Preface

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Stanford University Press, 1994 - Literary Criticism - 198 pages
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To study changing notions of authorship, and of the relation between author and audience in the Renaissance, the author focuses on the interface between text itself, audience, and the preface. He shows that in the preface complex questions about an individual's relations to the public sphere were (indeed, still are) worked out. Instead of disparaging the individuality of the author however, he argues that the shift between systems of authorization in the Renaissance enabled the preface - indeed, authorship itself - to emerge as a mode of self-authorization.

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Contents

Renaissance Authorship and
1
Public and Private Rhetoric
17
Pauline Authority
27
Prefatory Method in the New Science
77
Empire
102
Hobbes Sprat
124
The Decline of
147
Notes
157
Bibliography
181
Index
195
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About the author (1994)

Kevin Dunn is Associate Professor of English at Yale University.

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