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標題: 文藝復興女性書寫傳統的階級意識:愛米莉雅.藍能「庫恆莊園描寫」的自我之感
Class Consciousness in Jacobean Female Writing Tradition: Aemilia Lanyer's Sense of Self in "The Description of Cooke-Ham"
作者: 陳淑卿 
關鍵字: 敬獻詩;鄉村莊園詩;文學贊助制度;賢良婦女社群;階級意識;英國國教教義闡釋
出版社: 臺中市:國立中興大學文學院
Project: 文史學報, Volume 28, Page(s) 327-344.
Like most of the literary figures in her times, Aemilia Lanyer's poetic
career is contingent upon the Jacobean patronage system, which preceded the
publishing industry to serve as the material condition for the production of
literary works. In returning the favor of their patrons, poets express their
gratitude through writing dedicatory poetry. The genre, however, is marked by an
innate tension between the poets' assertion of their writing authority and their
vindication of their patron's social and political supremacy. Lanyer's "The
Description of Cooke-ham," in its female rendition of the genre of dedicatory
poetry as well as that of country house poetry, reflects such tension in a female
version. In this essay I explore Lanyer's appropriation and displacement of
country house poetry conventions in order to establish a discursive space for a
community of good women, one that is constituted by her female patrons. The female
discursive space, however, is occupied by upper calss female subjects exclusively.
Thus, although Lanyer asserts cognitive female subjects, she unwittingly
strengthens the class hierarchy implicated in the genre. To be sure, praising the
patrons guarantees her social security as a writer. Yet it also erases her class
specificity as a commoner and banishes her outside the female community she helps
establish. Fully aware of her dilemma in writing a dedicatory poem, Lanyer turns
the poem into a battleground on which the struggle between her class/poetic
consciousness and her writerly obligation to her female patrons is played out. I
argue that Lanyer manages to "resolve" and suppress this contradiction through
the appeasement of the fractured, disrupting, uncertain voice in the margin by
means of the timely use of religious rhetoric. The "resolution" is a far cry from
an effective subversion of gender and class coercion. But the daring insertion
of the troubling voice of a gentlewoman in a dedicatory poem anticipates the
expression of class difference at the historical juncture when female consciousness
only starts to announce itself in the margin of mainstream literary scene.

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