Placing and Displacing Romanticism

Peter J. Kitson
Ashgate, 2001 - 232 Seiten
The essays collected in this volume by leading scholars of the subject all address the current issues of 'placing' and 'displacing', 'place' and 'displacement' in Romantic period studies. These terms are discussed with respect to both their literal and figurative meanings and are responded to with imagination and subtlety. Romanticism as an aesthetic has always been intimately concerned with 'place' in the literal sense, and a number of the contributors to this volume explore Romantic period writing's preoccupation with physical setting, stressing its relevance to other literary, political, scientific and historical concerns. 'Placing' Romanticism is more controversial and vexed issue in the light of contemporary new historicist critiques of the movement's complicity with conservative ideologies. This has given rise to seminal and crucial debates about the necessary taxonomies of the field and the issue of canon-formation. The question as to whether Romantic writings should be positioned within extra-literary contexts, such as the historical, the political and the social, or of other cognate art forms, including visual art and panorama, is a key theme that recurs within the pages of this volume. This collection is concerned not just with canonical Romantic writing, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Byron, but also with the importance of other contexts and other non-canonical writers, most notably Robert Southey. 'Displacement' is perhaps the most important of the critical concepts that have been brought to bear on Romantic period writing in recent years by such seminal critics as McGann, Levinson, Simpson and Liu and is a major theme of the collection. Contributors to this volume engage with and explore the significance of this term, applying it in detailed analyses of the texts of the period. The leading notion of much recent historicist criticism, that there is manufactured in the period a 'Romantic Ideology' which displaces the historical, political, and social tensions of the time into an ideal realm of transcendental imagination is one which is explored and critiqued in this volume. Revisiting Romantic period texts with an awareness of alleged displacements and evasions provides a series of fresh and exciting readings and combining the virtues of theoretically aware criticism with sensitive close readings, the essays in this collection reawaken an awareness of the complexity of Romantic texts enhanced by an new understanding of the contexts in which they were written. The essays in this volume, contributed by major scholars of the field, combine the virtues of new critical textual analysis with an awareness of the pressures and contexts of history, politics, and society, encouraging a new stance of an aware and engaged formalist and contextual criticism.

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Placing and Displacing Romanticism
Wordsworthian Nature and
Wordsworths The Haunted Tree and the Sexual Politics

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