Volume 66, Issue 4 | December 2005

Author Title
Pat Rogers John Philips, Pope, and Political Georgic  
The article centers on a poem by John Philips, Cyder (1708). It considers the work as a pioneering instance of Tory georgic, adapting the Virgilian model by the incorporation of a directly political theme. Some of this derives from traditional panegyric, a form Philips had employed in his earlier poem Bleinheim (sic). In addition the poem enlists local material and contains a schematic version of English history. In combination these elements serve to identify national destiny with the person of the monarch, Queen Anne, and with the "country" ideology of Tory politicians from Philips's own home county of Herefordshire. Second, the article suggests that in the next few years other poets followed the example given by Philips, among them Alexander Pope, John Gay, William Diaper and Joseph Trapp. In particular, the links between Cyder and Windsor-Forest are shown to be more extensive than previously recognized. As well as some newly identified verbal parallels, this connection embraces the wider themes and rhetorical aims of the two poems, as exemplars of a new sub-genre.
Tamara S. Wagner "A Strange Chronicle of the Olden Time": Revisions of the Regency in the Construction of Victorian Domestic Fiction  
The silver-fork novel is often misunderstood as merely a transitional stage of early-nineteenth-century popular fiction that had little, or no, impact on the development of the Victorian novel. This essay reconsiders the genre's significance for the construction of Victorian domestic fiction through the lens of two long neglected novels that, in the mid-nineteenth century, redefined early silver-fork representations of the Regency period: Emily Eden's The Semi-Attached Couple and Catherine Hubback's The Younger Sister. Their revaluation of changing ideals of the gentleman is fascinatingly accomplished through a triangulation of three modes. Jane Austen as the exponent of a moral Regency fiction is posed against early silver-fork novels and further against a layering of retrospective representations by a "second wave" of writers. Filtering mid-century ideals of domestic life and domestic fiction through their backprojection into the Regency, their novels formed an intriguing speculation on a new interest not only in the recent past, but also in its ambiguously attractive values and plots. Such experiments significantly influenced the shaping of the Victorian novel. Cautioning against viewing silver-fork fiction in isolation, the article proposes a rethinking both of the intersecting subgenres of nineteenth-century fiction and of the novel genre's literary history.
Damian Love Doing Him into the Eye: Samuel Beckett's Rimbaud  
The crisis of communication in French Symbolism was a vital avant-garde legacy for Beckett. Rupture between poet and audience is a Rimbaldian theme that influenced his view of art as the apotheosis of solitude. In his early writings and lectures he interprets the Symbolist aesthetic of the self-referring, self-contained poem as a response to that rupture, whereby the poet ('je est un autre') becomes his own audience. For Rimbaud the aesthetic fails, rendering 'I' a hostile audience or 'eye' of self-consciousness. Beckett invokes Rimbaud, who gave up writing, as a point of departure for an art of failure. In Beckett's late prose, Symbolist aesthetics - language unfolding according to its own self-contained logic in a play of sound and semantics - becomes a dramatic 'not I' disintegration of identity, permeated by a hostile Rimbaldian eye. His debt to Symbolism reveals Beckett's work as in some respects a culmination of the Romantic agony.
Martin Joseph Ponce Langston Hughes's Queer Blues  
Langston Hughes's use of black music and other vernacular forms as a basis for his poetics has long been recognized as an important intervention-at the level of race and class-into the politics of representation and form during the New Negro renaissance. However, the gender and sexual implications of Hughes's turn to the blues in particular have been largely overlooked. Drawing together insights from formal criticism concerned with the relation between poetry and music, and queer criticism concerned with Hughes's ambiguous sexuality, this essay analyzes the gender-crossing first-person "I"'s that emerge in the unframed blues poems in Fine Clothes to the Jew (1927). Showing how the blues poems swing generically between the lyric and the dramatic monologue, the essay reads the poems as Hughes's literary "response" to the "call" of the vernacular blues. Affirming and giving voice to a variety of viewpoints, including erotic longing for men, Hughes thereby constructs and inhabits a queer positionality.
Author Title
Virgil Nemoianu Eine Literaturgeschichte Mitteleuropas by Zoran Konstantinović and Fridrun Rinner
Dennis Washburn Gender and National Literature: Heian Texts in the Constructions of Japanese Modernity by Tomiko Yoda
Barbara Fuchs The Spacious Word: Cartography, Literature, and Empire in Early Modern Spain by Ricardo Padrón
Vera Nünning Hypocrisy and the Politics of Politeness: Manners and Morals from Locke to Austen by Jenny Davidson
Judith Wilt Theater Figures: The Production of the Nineteenth Century British Novel by Emily Allen
James McIntosh Landscape and Ideology in American Renaissance Literature: Topographies of Skepticism by Robert E. Abrams
Andrea Frisch Victorian Soundscapes by John M. Picker

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