The Story of All Things: Writing the Self in English Renaissance Narrative Poetry

Duke University Press, 1998

This book analyzes the influence of major cultural developments, as well as significant events in the lives of Renaissance poets, to show how specific narratives characterize distinctive conceptions of the self in relation to historical action. Focusing on the narrative poetry of the English Renaissance, Grossman relates subjectivity to the nature of language, using the theories of Lacan to analyze the concept of the self as it encounters a transforming environment. He shows how ideological tensions arose from the reorganization and "modernization" of social life in revolutionary England and how the major poets of the time represented the division of the self in writings that are suspended between lyric and narrative genres.