Today genre studies are flourishing, and nowhere more vigorously perhaps than in the field of Renaissance literature, given the importance to Renaissance writers of questions of genre. These studies have been nourished, as Barbara Lewalski points out, by the varied insights of contemporary literary theory. More sophisticated conceptions of genre have led to a fuller appreciation of the complex and flexible Renaissance uses of literary forms.
The eighteen essays in this volume are striking in their diversity of stance and approach. Three are addressed to genre theory explicitly, and all reveal a concern with theoretical issues. The contributors are Earl Miner, Ann E. Imbrie, Claudio Guillen, Alastair Fowler, Harry Levin, Morton W. Bloomfield, Mary T. Crane, Barbara J. Bono, Janel M. Mueller, Annabel Patterson, Steven N. Zwicker, Marjorie Garber, Robert N. Watson, John N. King, Heather Dubrow, John Klause, James S. Baumlin, and Francis C. Blessington.