Volume 78, Issue 1 | March 2017

Author Title
Seo Hee Im Between Habbakuk and Locke: Pain, Debt, and Economic Subjectivation in Paradise Lost  
Readers of Paradise Lost have argued that the epic registers England’s nascent imperialism negatively through its associations of trade with Satan. This essay rethinks Paradise Lost’s relation to empire by tracing its involvement in the making of an early modern subjectivity that is constitutively informed by an awareness of debt, debit, and credit. That profane mode of thought later finds more enthusiastic expression in the early English novels of Daniel Defoe and others, but it begins to take shape in Milton, who derives it from none other than religious sources such as scripture, atonement theology, and nostalgia for purgatory. Despite its voiced misgivings about British commercialism, Paradise Lost thus participates in England’s historical growth from peripheral island to sprawling world empire.
Maryam Wasif Khan The Oriental Tale and the Transformation of North-Indian Prose Fiction  
The eighteenth-century English Oriental tale has in recent scholarship been read as both productive and dissident. But the legacies of this literary genre in the Indian colony and its role in the formation of a world literature remain mostly unstudied. The formation of colonial institutions such as Fort William College, Calcutta (1800), inaugurated the standardization of the fluid North Indian language complex into the religiously demarcated vernaculars Urdu and Hindi. The imperially patronized production of the Oriental tale as both a literary and a pedagogical form, exemplified by Mir Amman’s B??h-o Bah?r (The Garden and the Spring, 1804), among other works, began the process of the large-scale and nearly irreversible reorganization of North Indian literary traditions. The rise of a colonial nexus of educational institutions for natives codified the Fort William works as canonical, while narratives such as the d?st?n that operated at a distance from the colonial ambit became, at best, peripheral to a modern Urdu literature.
Alexander Pettit Comedy and Metacomedy: Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms and Its Antecedents  
During an eleven-year period that began in 1913 with the composition of his first play, Eugene O’Neill repeatedly experimented with New Comic forms. His seven “metacomedies” from this period—most focally Bread and Butter, “Anna Christie,” and Desire under the Elms—render grotesque the inseparably erotic, familial, and financial tendencies of comic plot. In Desire under the Elms, for example, lovers are brought together but placed under arrest. The metacomedies record O’Neill’s reaction against the coalescent endings common to two modes of drama that he knew well: the melodrama of his father’s generation and the melodramatic-cum-realistic Broadway fare of his own youth. Textual history has impeded their categorical recognition: in 1924, when Desire under the Elms was first published and performed, 39 percent of O’Neill’s oeuvre (seventeen of forty-four plays), but just 19 percent of his staged work (five of twenty-six plays) and 16 percent of his published work (four of twenty-five), was comic or metacomic. It is no wonder, then, that the metacomic O’Neill has remained invisible, at cost to our understanding of his early dramatic practice. The other plays principally at issue are A Wife for a Life, The Movie Man, The Personal Equation, and The Straw.
Katherine Bode The Concurrence of “Close” and “Distant” Reading; Or, Towards a New Object for Data-Rich Literary History  
The approaches to data-rich literary history that dominate academic and public debate—Franco Moretti’s “distant reading” and Matthew Jockers’s “macroanalysis”—model literary systems in limited, abstract, and often ahistorical ways. This problem arises from neglect of the activities and insights of textual scholarship and is inherited from, rather than opposed to, the New Criticism and its core method of “close reading.” Literary history requires not new or integrated methods but a new scholarly object capable of managing the documentary record’s complexity, especially as manifested in emerging digital knowledge infrastructure. Building on significant, though uneven and unacknowledged, departures from Moretti’s and Jockers’s work in data-rich literary history, this essay describes such an object, modeled on the foundational technology of textual scholarship: the scholarly edition.
Review essay
Author Title
Richard Strier A Lover’s Journal: Jonathan Culler’s Theory of the Lyric
Author Title
Brean Hammond Review of Judith Milhous and Robert D. Hume, The Publication of Plays in London 1660-1800: Playwrights, Publishers and the Market
Eleni Coundouriotis Review of Lauren M. E. Goodlad, The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic: Realism, Sovereignty, and Transnational Experience
John Plotz Review of Jesse Oak Taylor, The Sky of Our Manufacture: The London Fog in British Fiction from Dickens to Woolf
Richard Kaye Review of Vincent Sherry, Decadence and the Reinvention of Modernism, and Matthew Potolsky, The Decadent Republic of Letters: Taste, Politics, and Cosmopolitan Community from Baudelaire to Beardsley

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