About the author:
Elena V. Haltrin-Khalturina, DSc in Philology (RF), PhD in English (USA), Leading Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2205-9444
A survey of academic histories of literature published in the 19th and 20th centuries in different countries reveals that, while thoroughly covering the English Renaissance poetics, the scholarship allows for a variety of views on Tudor literary theory and on what constitutes literary canon. Considering this variety of views, we also have to be aware of two different perspectives on the large body of literary art of the 16th-century: the present-day and the Elizabethan. Drawing on a substantial number of sources, we offer a general account of influential theoretical (poetological and rhetorical) works known in the 16th-century Great Britain, including those written in English. Also of note are educational treatises, “mirror” literature, and metaliterary comments withing literary works. Authors of those treatises used to interpret fiction as something feigned, counterfeit — an attitude informing ludic passages in Spenser and Shakespeare. Whereas the techniques of fashioning fictions by way of employing figures of feigned/counterfeit representation were addressed in detail by such critics as R. Sherry and G. Puttenham, the poets — Spenser and Shakespeare — seemed to be testing these techniques in practice. Our study pays particular attention to methods used by Spenser and Shakespeare when creating simulated, fictional reality.