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Showing posts from December, 2013

Monograph Challenge #26: Romantic Identities

Strictly not a 21st century tome, but it's been lying on my desk for ages…

Title: Andrea K. Henderson, Romantic Identities: Varieties of Subjectivity 1774-1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)

Methodology: A lot of theoretical gestures (from Derrida to de Certeau, Negri to Kristeva…) but fixed on to a materialist sense of history (esp. medical humanities). Feminist angle also apparent.
Critical Context: A few critics who appear multiple times - Charles Rzepka, Clifford Siskin, J.G.A. Pocock
Thesis: Although Romantic subjectivity has usually been conceived on the vertical 'depth' model (i.e. authenticity comes from inwardness), there were many other competing models.

In a nutshell: Particularly when working out from a poet like Wordsworth (to whom Henderson provocatively returns in an epilogue), it is easy to locate the truth of subjectivity in 'thoughts that lie too deep for tears': that is, in inwardness, depth and origin. Henderson's thesis is that su…

Monograph Challenge #25: Romanticism and the Gold Standard

Title: Alexander Dick, Romanticism and the Gold Standard: Money, Literature, and Economic Debate in Britain 1790-1830 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

Methodology: 'New Economic' criticism, interdisciplinary (sociology, anthropology etc.)
Critical Context: J.G.A. Pocock, Mary Poovey, James Chandler
Thesis: The emergence of paper money and the fixing of the gold standard raised important questions of how value (across a range of spheres) was to be fixed and regulated in an increasingly commercial society: most notably, literature, morality or religion frequently intervene as the 'supplement' or displacement of gold in order to regulate the speculative culture of capitalism.

In a Nutshell: Dick begins by analysing and charting the debate around the gold standard from the 1790s through to the wake of the coinage act of 1816. He is especially interested in understanding the discursive event that is the bullion controversy, noting how speeches, pamphlets, periodicals (et…