Romantic Rocks, Aesthetic Geology

Cornell University Press, 2004 - 304 páginas

Why are rocks and landforms so prominent in British Romantic poetry? Why, for example, does Shelley choose a mountain as the locus of a "voice . . . to repeal / large codes of fraud and woe"? Why does a cliff, in the boat-stealing episode of Wordsworth's Prelude, chastise the young thief? Why is petrifaction, or "stonifying," in Blake's coinage, the ultimate figure of dehumanization?

Noah Heringman maintains that British literary culture was fundamentally shaped by many of the same forces that created geology as a science in the period 1770–1820. He shows that landscape aesthetics—the verbal and social idiom of landscape gardening, natural history, the scenic tour, and other forms of outdoor "improvement"—provided a shared vernacular for geology and Romanticism in their formative stages.

Romantic Rocks, Aesthetic Geology reexamines a wide range of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poetry to discover its relationship to a broad cultural consensus on the nature and value of rocks and landforms. Equally interested in the initial surge of curiosity about the earth and the ensuing process of specialization, Heringman contributes to a new understanding of literature as a key forum for the modern reorganization of knowledge.

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Aesthetic Materialism and the Culture of Landscape
A Genealogy of the Huge Stone in Wordsworth Resolution and Independence
Geological Otherness or Rude Rocks and the Aesthetics of Formlessness
Blake Geology and Primordial Substance
Literary Landscapes and Mineral Resources
The Rock Record Mineral Wealth and the Substance of History
Aesthetic Objects and Cultural Practices in Erasmus Darwins Geology
Wonders of the Peak
Aesthetic Geology and Critical Discourse
Works Cited
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Acerca del autor (2004)

Noah Heringman is Associate Professor of English at the University of Missouri?Columbia. He is the editor of Romantic Science: The Literary Forms of Natural History.

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