Volume 61, Issue 2 | June 2000

Author Title
Neil Kenny Books in Space and Time: Bibliomania and Early Modern Histories of Learning and "Literature" in France  
Bibliomaniacs achieved particular prominence in eighteenth-century Paris. They collected books not to read them but because they valued them as material objects. By contrast, others collected books as 'works', as transcendent rather than material objects. It was as 'works' that books figured too in the histories of learning and belles-lettres that were compiled with increasing frequency from the late sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth century. These compilations were initially presented as figurative 'libraries', but gradually they were organized along chronological lines and became called 'histories': the book production of the past was increasingly conceived as a diachronic history rather than as a synchronic space. Histories of learning seem far removed from bibliomania, which gratified private collectors rather than constructing public or nationalistic narratives. However, there was considerable--if unacknowledged--affinity as well as antagonism between bibliomania and histories of learning. The bibliomaniac's interest in individual copies of books was shared by some historians of learning, who relied on bibliomaniacs for much information. However, by the early nineteenth century, bibliomania had drifted further apart from histories of learning and of belles-lettres. The successor to those histories--modern literary history--has tried to sever all ties with bibliomania.
Richard Maxwell Pretenders in Sanctuary  
Royal pretenders appear frequently in fiction. This long-standing identification--where fiction treats historical themes, there are bound to be wandering royal claimants--is not completely dependent on the influence of the Waverley novels, important though they are in the overall picture, but rather on a deep generic and cultural logic. The role of pretendancy in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novel can be traced through the motif of sanctuary, a space outside the law sought by lost, pursued, or abandoned, would-be royals.The affinity between royal ambition and asylum produces foundational insights--not only about pretenders but also about relations between history and fiction in a world of emerging mass-democratic movements. More specifically,this web of relationships is exemplified in such novels as Prévost's Cleveland, Sophia Lee's The Recess, the anonymous Le Faux Pierre, Scott's Waverley, Dumas's Le Vicomte de Bragelonne, and Twain's Huckleberry Finn.
Eric Rothstein Broaching a Cultural Logic of Modernity  
The term "Modernity," dereified, is most useful as a scalar measure of how attuned a practice or collectivity is to the ideal of continuous, deliberate, directional modification of persons and environment. Homeostasis--preservation of identity--then entails calculated change, therefore risk assessment, and an increased premium on information that helps one prepare for future possibilities. The laws of science but also the counterfactualities of literature do this. Literature also presents informational spaces with a density of significant particulars. From this logic of Modernity, a Darwinian argument follows. It conditions literary value, the development of genres, the autonomy of literary works, and various literary devices. The article also comments on "Pre-" and "Post-Modernity," on countermodernity, on the carrots and sticks that drive Modernity, and on the disjunctive historiography of Kuhn and Foucault.
Review essay
Author Title
Howard D. Weinbrot Twentieth-Century Scholarship and the Eighteenth-Century Canon
Author Title
Gordon Teskey The Ruins of Allegory: "Paradise Lost" and the Metamorphosis of Epic Convention by Catherine Gimelli Martin
Shamoon Zamir Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence by Gerald Vizenor
Steven Dillon Victorian Sappho by Yopie Prins
Deborah Elise White Wordsworth's Profession: Form, Class, and the Logic of Early Romantic Cultural Production by Thomas Pfau

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