|Ann T. Delehanty||From Judgment to Sentiment: Changing Theories of the Sublime and Its Audience, 1674-1710 |
This essay explores how the early modern discussion of the sublime in France can be seen as a microcosm for the shift from a poetics model of literary theory to a nascent model of aesthetic theory. It shows how the work of literature moved from being seen as a rule-bound object subject to judgment (the poetics model) to being the stimulus for an experience which was produced by genius and was universally felt (an early aesthetics model). The first part of the essay looks at three thinkers who posit the poetics model of the sublime: Longinus, the early Boileau, and René Rapin. The second section of the essay examines the revised definition of the sublime that Boileau offers in 1710 which focuses exclusively on the sentimental reaction of the audience as the arbiter of a work's excellence. The essay concludes that the terms of the sublime move from the artist to the audience, from the art object to the art experience, from the judgment to the sentiment of the audience, and ultimately, from poetics to aesthetics.
|Laura E. McGrane||Fielding's Fallen Oracles: Print Culture and the Elusiveness of Common Sense |
This essay explores the topos of the classical oracle in Henry Fielding's plays and periodical writings. Building on early modern conceptions of the oracular voice as duplicitous and dangerous, Fielding reformulates the oracle, representative of both ministerial corruption and aesthetic failure, as a lingering threat to common sense interactions. In works including Pasquin (1736) and essays in Common Sense and The Champion, Fielding deploys the oracle to symbolize and satirize a crisis of political and authorial legitimacy in contemporary print and political culture. Even as Fielding's works deride manipulative forms of governance in an increasingly market-driven print domain, however, they exhibit the skeptic's longing for a lost form, a grand and mystical authority capable of speaking or writing a truth beyond the partial knowledge of mere public opinion.
|Renata Kobetts Miller||Child-Killers and the Competition Between Late Victorian Theater and the Novel |
"Infanticide, Child Neglect, and Abortion" argues that the theater's increased respectability in the 1860s led novelists to seek an intellectual, rather than popular, readership, and gave rise to a competition between the theater and the novel-a competition so fierce that its defining figure was infanticide. By tracing infanticide in works such as T.W. Robertson's play Caste (1867), George Moore's novel A Mummer's Wife (1885), and plays and novels by Elizabeth Robins in the early twentieth century, I demonstrate how the theater's improved stature led the two literary forms to evolve, striving for greater realism in various forms, and to define their evolution in relation to each other.
|Marina MacKay||Putting the House in Order: Virginia Woolf and Blitz Modernism |
This essay reads Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts (1941) in relation to the mainstream Second World War rhetorics of home front reform, or what The Times called "putting the house in order." I argue that the book shows Woolf at the end of her career reflecting on the iconoclastic ambitions of modernist literary form and on interwar modernists' conservative domestic politics, and qualifying both in the light of the ongoing war.
|John D. Lyons||Indiscernible Counterparts: The Invention of the Text in French Classical Drama by Christopher Braider|
|Stephanie Newell||The Portable Bunyan: A Transnational History of The Pilgrim's Progress by Isabel Hofmeyr|
|James Thompson||Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Law of Property by Wolfram Schmidgen|
|Christopher L. Hill||Text and the City: Essays on Japanese Modernity by Maeda Ai and Transformations of Sensibility: The Phenomenology of Meiji Literature by Kamei Hideo|
|Lisa Lowe||An Absent Presence: Japanese Americans in Postwar American Culture, 1945-1960 by Caroline Chung Simpson|
|Scott Saul||Signs and Cities: Black Literary Postmodernism by Madhu Dubey|
Modern Language Quarterly | Department of English, Box 354330 |
University of Washington | Seattle, WA 98195-4430