A Handbook of Romanticism Studies (Critical Theory by Joel Faflak, Julia M. Wright

By Joel Faflak, Julia M. Wright

The instruction manual to Romanticism Studies is an available and indispensible source offering scholars and students with a wealthy array of old and up to date severe and theoretical contexts for the learn of Romanticism.

* specializes in British Romanticism whereas additionally addressing continental and transatlantic Romanticism and past periods
* makes use of key words corresponding to mind's eye, elegant, poetics, philosophy, race, historiography, and visible tradition as issues of entry to the research of Romanticism and the theoretical matters and the tradition of the period
* Explores issues crucial to Romanticism stories and the serious developments of the final thirty years

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Extra info for A Handbook of Romanticism Studies (Critical Theory Handbooks)

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A Handbook of Romanticism Studies, First Edition. Edited by Joel Faflak and Julia M. Wright. Ó 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Published 2012 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 38 Aesthetics and Media In this increasingly “polite culture,” women writers and female characters came to signify the perceived rewards of sensibility while appropriating it for their own expressive and critical ends (Johnson 13). Sensibility preceded, then coincided with, and quite possibly outlasted Romanticism. By the time Samuel Richardson published his epistolary novel Pamela in 1740 – a minute-to-minute rendering of the heroine’s emotional and sexual predicaments – sympathy was already highly valued.

Indeed, Brook Thomas locates the origin of the New Historicist fascination with displays of power in the political theatricality of the Reagan era (Thomas 19). Such a screen is further complicated by the fact that Romantic-period psychologists and scientists framed the imagination as a turning inward to the self, a susceptibility to being influenced by the external world (Kirmayer 586). And yet such susceptibility is not a denial of the external world, but rather a pathologizing of a certain kind of relationship to that world, one that locates indiscrimination within social class and gender.

However, such mindforged manacles have been obscured by the relocation of “materiality” from the world to language. Usually taken to signify the physical quality of something, materiality has in recent criticism shifted so that instead of referring to the physical world – “the substance and substantiality of the world” (Oerlemans 34) – it refers to the ways in which language works. Such a collapse between materiality and language only becomes possible with a postmodern understanding of the world, one that takes for granted the role of language in making it possible to think about the world.

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