Volume 63, Issue 2 | June 2002

Author Title
Joseph A. Dane and Margaret Russett "Everlastinge to Posterytie": Chatterton's Spirited Youth  
Thomas Chatterton, often regarded as a figure on the fringes of eighteenth-century culture, is best understood as the originator of that cardinal Romantic maxim: "the child is father of the man." Chatterton, in other words, is Romanticism's figure for temporal recursion, and for a challenge to literary genealogy that is sometimes misread as Freudian "family-romance." Examining Chatterton's own poetry and prose, as well as key texts in his eighteenth-century, Romantic, and later editorial reception, Margaret Russett and Joseph A. Dane argue that Chatterton powerfully disrupts linear accounts of poetic development and of the relationship between original and imitation. This disruption is a function of the genealogical fantasy that proved attractive to both Chatterton and his detractors: that of a purely masculine lineage that validates the modern poet as chosen son. Having traced this fantasy through to Chatterton's late nineteenth-century editor, W. W. Skeat, the authors conclude with a brief meditation on how it has been reified as the Anxiety of Influence.
Heather McHugh Presence and Passage: A Poet's Wordsworth
Nancy Yousef The Monster in a Dark Room: Frankenstein, Feminism, and Philosophy
Gail McDonald The Mind a Department Store: Reconfiguring Space in the Gilded Age  
The essay examines the metaphor of blurred or absent architectural boundaries–what Georg Simmel termed the "modern feeling against closed spaces"–in three discursive arenas: the physical space of domestic interiors and department stores, the mental space of William James's psychological writings, and the fictive space of utopian and naturalist novels. Edith Wharton's and Ogden Codman, Jr.'s The Decoration of Houses and Henry James's The American Scene express alarm at the paucity of closable doors in American architecture, seeing in this form of decor a disregard for decorum. In contrast, Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward and Bradford Peck's The World a Department Store celebrate the open-plan emporium as a blueprint for the successful cooperative society. The open-plan appears again in William James's descriptions of mentation: mobility, circulation, interdependence, replaceability, malleability and drift displace the more static models of faculty and associative psychology. James's substitution of fluid constructs for static ones has significant consequences for conceptions of selfhood. The malleable self, its permeability and relationality, provides both a topic and a set of narrative problems for writers like Stephen Crane, Theodore Dreiser, and Frank Norris.
Author Title
Julia Reinhard Lupton The Vanishing: Shakespeare, the Subject, and Early Modern Culture by Christopher Pye
David Lindley The Acoustic World of Early Modern England: Attending to the O-factor by Bruce Smith
The Story of O: Prostitutes and Other Good-for-Nothings in the Renaissance by Michele Sharon Jaffe
Judy Kronenfeld Common Prayer: The Language of Public Devotion in Early Modern England by Ramie Targoff
Patricia Meyer Spacks Curiosity: A Cultural History of Early Modern Inquiry by Barbara M. Benedict
Alan Richardson Mothers of the Nation: Women's Political Writing in England, 1780-1830 by Anne K. Mellor
Bill Mullen The Power of Political Art: The 1930s Literary Left Reconsidered by Robert Shulman
Robert C. Spires A New History of Spanish Writing 1939 to the 1990s by Chris Perriam, Michael Thompson, Susan Frenk, and Vanessa Knights

Modern Language Quarterly | Department of English, Box 354330 | University of Washington | Seattle, WA 98195-4430