The Building in the Text

Alberti to Shakespeare and Milton

By (author) Roy Eriksen

Paperback - £24.95

Publication date:

15 January 2001

Length of book:

216 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271027838

In The Building in the Text, Roy Eriksen shows that Renaissance writers conceived of their texts in accordance with architectural principles. His approach opens the way to wide-ranging discussions of the structure and meaning of a variety of literary texts and also provides new insights into the famed architectural ekphrases of Alberti and Vasari.

Analyzing such words as "plot," "topos," "fabrica," and "stanza," Eriksen discloses the fundamental spatial symmetries and complexities in the writings of Ariosto, Shakespeare, and Milton, among other major figures. Ultimately, his book uncovers and clarifies a tradition of literary architecture that is rooted in antiquity and based on correspondences regarded as ordering principles of the cosmos.

Eriksen’s book will be of interest to art historians, historians of literature, and those concerned with the classical heritage, rhetoric, music, and architecture.

“Highly original yet well founded historically: an important contribution to the scholarship of the Italian Renaissance.”

—Alastair Fowler, University of Edinburgh