Abstract

This essay recovers the cultural and historical significance of Baltic amber and introduces a new, untragic model of female subjectivity and trauma in Andrew Marvell’s “The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn.” Given amber’s impact in European economic history, I argue that its Ovidian origin in the Heliades’ tears is significant, for these trees ironically create a superior, imperishable resin that exceeds that of healthy, nonweeping trees. Renaissance poets who refer to the Heliades’ amber tears expand our understanding of the period’s configurations of mourning by validating symptoms of trauma often seen as unnatural or pathological.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 151-174
Launched on MUSE
2015-03-04
Open Access
No
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