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Reading Old Books – Writing with Traditions - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Reading Old Books: Writing with Traditions

Peter Mack


In literary and cultural studies, “tradition” is a word everyone uses but few address critically. In this book, the author offers a wide-ranging exploration of the creative power of literary tradition, from the middle ages to the twenty-first century, revealing in new ways how it helps writers and readers make new works and meanings. The book argues that the best way to understand tradition is by examining the moments when a writer takes up an old text and writes something new out of a dialogue with that text and the promptings of the present situation. The book examines Petrarch as a user, in ... More

Keywords: creative power, literary tradition, writers, Petrarch, Chaucer, Ariosto, Tasso, Spenser, Elizabeth Gaskell, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780691194004
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691194004.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter Mack, author
University of Warwick