Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Erasmus and the Invention of Literature

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Erasmus Studies

Before 1980, a consensus existed that Erasmian humanism lay at the basis of the liberal arts education system. Within that system, literary studies had the prime position, embodied in the concepts of bonae litterae and litterae humaniores. In recent years the idea of a liberal education has taken a battering. The principles of humanism are often treated defensively. The study of Erasmus’s literary writings, meanwhile, has happily devolved into other areas: into philology, grammar, and rhetoric. This article argues that the retreat in the wake of anti-humanism has led to some misunderstanding of Erasmus. An idea of the “literary” is central to his theoretical position. Erasmus’ concept of literature is here re-examined, both as a theory of imitation and as a medium of subjectivity. He emerges as more radical a literary interpreter than the pre-1980 consensus allowed. At the same time, it is argued that in riding the wave of the educational storm of the late twentieth century, the post-1980 attack on literary humanism has missed something of the power, imagination, and subtlety of Erasmus’ thought.

Affiliations: 1: Anniversary Professor, University of York, Department of English and Related Literature


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Erasmus Studies — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation