UCLA Mester Title Fuchs, Barbara. The Poetics of Piracy: Emulating Spain in English Literature Author Publication Date

Richmond Ellis, Robert
2014 unpublished
In The Poetics of Piracy: Emulating Spain in English Literature Barbara Fuchs focuses on the interconnectedness of early modern Spanish and English literatures. Through an extended meditation on the theme of piracy she reveals how Elizabethan and Jacobean writers (as well as several contemporary ones) occluded their literary borrowings, or, as she describes it, their looting of Spanish literary treasures. As Fuchs explains, the debt of English writers to France and Italy has often been
more » ... often been recognized, but the debt of English writers to Spain has largely been ignored. In her view this is due not only to the political rivalries between Spain and England in the late sixteenth-and early seventeenth-centuries. It also results from an explicit elision of Spain and Spanish literature in the formation of the English literary canon and from the ways both English literature is defined and English literary studies are carried out to this day. English literary studies, Fuchs contends, has neither fully incorporated Spain into its field nor convincingly accounted for its absence. It is in part in order to address these lacunae that she has written the book. Informing The Poetics of Piracy is a notion of imitatio "as a historically situated practice, coterminous with imperial competition and national self-definition" (4) and translatio "as an act of successful looting" (7). Fuchs justifies her conception of imitation and translation by showing that some early modern English texts actually imagined the rewriting of Spanish literature as a violent taking for the national good.