"In recent years, the study of Renaissance literature has all but disappeared in many language departments. However, in the troubled political circumstances in which we find ourselves today, sixteenth century voices again speak to us eloquently through the ages with their simple messages of faith, moderation and tolerance, and their questioning of those fixed, pompous viewpoints that pass as expressions of truth within society. These voices question, often playfully, the spin, arrogance and pretence of what appears to be impressive, learned discourse.
"As with writers of today, writers such as Marguerite de Navarre, Rabelais and Montaigne sought to make sense of a rapidly changing world and an uncertain future. The texts were characterised by a striking interplay between vivid description and the unstable, shifting boundaries of language. At the root of these writers' exploratory style of expression was the work of Erasmus, who saw a need to respond in one's heart to what one read and saw, and to recognise one's own limitations."
Dr Gerard Paul Sharpling
Dr Sharpling works in the English Training Unit of the Centre for English Language Teacher Education (CELTE) at the University of Warwick. For more information on his role within the University and his other publications see the CELTE staff pages.
Author: Gerard Sharpling
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press