Wordsworth's Profession: Form, Class, and the Logic of Early Romantic Cultural Production
Stanford University Press, 1997 - 454 páginas
This book explores Wordsworth's professionalization as a writer in relation to the cultural and economic ascendancy of the English middle class between 1740 and 1820. Its wide-ranging interpretations are coordinated by a single, albeit highly ramified, critical hypothesis: that Romanticism's aesthetic forms simultaneously afforded the middle classes an imaginary furlough from the impinging consciousness of their tenuous socio-economic status.
Wordsworth's Profession analyzes and correlates changing paradigms of authorship, poetic genre, and tone with the demographic and spiritual aspects of middle-class life during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The first of three parts explores Wordsworth's early descriptive poetry (An Evening Walk, Descriptive Sketches, and "Tinturn Abbey") in relation to inherited and contiguous aesthetic forms and practices, such as the landscapes of Lorrain and Gainsborough, Kant's theory of aesthetic communities, and the institutions of domestic tourism and the Picturesque in late-eighteenth-century England.
The second part addresses the construction of a distinctly middle-class paradigm of reading in Lyrical Ballads. It does so in relation to contemporary didactic fiction (Wollstonecraft), anti-didactic writing (Blake), speculative theories of education (Godwin, Coleridge, and Hegel), and the emergent so-called mutual tutor or "monitorial" systems of elementary schooling (Andrew Bell and Joseph Lancaster).
The book's final part, on The Prelude, focuses on representations of middle-class moral and economic anxiety as mediated in the spirited debate about populousness and public morality. Seen in this context, Wordsworth's autobiography appears less a confession than an attempt to simulate poetic answers to questions lingering in the national unconscious, questions too vast and threatening to bear conscious asking.
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Picturesque Aesthetics and the Production of
Nicolas Poussin Landscape with the Gathering of the Ashes
Daughters Elizabeth and Ann 1752
IO William Craig exempla from his Essay on the Study of Nature
Thomas Hearne frontispiece to Richard P Knight The Landscape
I3 Thomas Gainsborough Wooded Landscape with Cattle by a Pool
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aesthetic affective appears argument audience authentic autobiographical bourgeois Burke Burke's capital cognitive Coleridge Coleridge's conception consciousness constitutes contingent critical critique cultural descriptive discourse displacement distinctive Dorothy Wordsworth economic emergent empirical Essay feeling fiction figural formal function genre Hegel Hegel's hermeneutic historical historicism historicist human Hume ideal ideological idiom imagination individual interest Jacobin landscape language literary logic Lyrical Ballads Malthus Malthus's material mediated metaphoric middle middle-class mind mode moral motives narrative nature nomic º º object paradigm passion pedagogical Picturesque pleasure poem poem's poet poet's poetic poetry political practice precisely Preface Prelude production professional psychological reader reading reflexive representation reproduction rhetorical Romantic Romanticism Romanticism's scene self-conscious self-interest sense sensibility sexual Simon Lee social specific speculative spiritual spontaneous stylistic sublating sublime symbolic synecdochic textual theory thetic Tintern Abbey tion tive trope uncon unconscious urban virtual William Gilpin William Wordsworth Wordsworth's Wordsworthian
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