The Language of Allegory
Defining the Genre
This lively and innovative work treats a body of literature not previously regarded as a unified genre. Offering comparative readings of a number of texts that are traditionally called allegories and that cover a wide time span, Maureen Quilligan formulates a vocabulary for talking about the distinctive generic elements they share. The texts she considers range from the twelfth-century De planctu naturae to Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, and include such works as Le Roman de la Rose, Langland's Piers Plowman, Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, Melville's Confidence Man, and Spenser's Faerie Queene. Whether or not readers agree with this book, they will enjoy and profit from it.