> words, I think this is a characteristically Spenserian moment of deferral,
> the "anticipated-but- deferred wholeness" that David Lee Miller so
> beautifully lays out. what makes it a fabulous sonnet for me is the
> combination of helplessness and will to power in these last lines.
> Chris Warley
But the problem with "anticipated-but-deferred wholeness" (_differance_) is that it is inconsistent with Spenser's aesthetic Neoplatonism. In life, for Sp, wholeness may be perpetually deferred: this seems to be the import of sequentiality in the _Amoretti_, and of the attempt to escape sequentiality by jumping to the _Epithalamion_; in which, however, sequence reappears, along with a vestige of the "unquiet thoughts" that marred the sonnets. But in art, wholeness is achieved. That is the point of it. Moreover, on the Neoplatonic idea of representation as making-present -- or as a mimetic reflection of a layered reality that is itself mimetic -- the art-object is ontologically-productive. In other words, by his linguistic and perishable representation of Elizabeth, the poet is also writing her "glorious name" "in the hevens" (75.12): "Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,/ our love shall live, and later life renew" (13-14). The ideal represented of the poetic repres!
entation, created or projected by that representation, will endure; and will "later life renew" in the mimetic succession of worlds.
Dr. James Dougal Fleming,
Assistant Professor of English,
Simon Fraser University,
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