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Rethinking reception in Victorian literary culture

Dante Beyond Influence provides the first systematic inquiry into the formation of the British critical and scholarly discourse on Dante in the late nineteenth century (1865–1921). Overcoming the primacy of literary influence and intertextuality, it instead historicises and conceptualises the hermeneutic turn in British reception history as the product of major transformations in Victorian intellectual, social and publishing history.

The volume unpacks the phenomenology of Victorian dantismo through the analysis of five case studies and the material examination of a newly discovered body of manuscript and print sources. Extending over a sixty-year long period, the book retraces the sophistication of the Victorian modes of readerly and writerly engagement with Dantean textuality. It charts its outward expression as a public criticism circulating in prominent nineteenth-century periodicals and elucidates its wider popularisation (and commodification) through Victorian mass-publishing. It ultimately brings forth the mechanism that led to the specialisation of the scholarly discourse and the academisation of Dante studies in traditional and extramural universities. Drawing on the new disciplines of book history and history of reading, the author provides unprecedented insight into the private intellectual life and public work of Christina Rossetti, Matthew Arnold, William E. Gladstone, and introduces a significant cohort of Dante critics, scholars and learned societies hitherto passed unnoticed.

As it recaptures a long-neglected moment in Dante’s reception history, this path-breaking book illuminates the wider socio-cultural and economic impact that the Victorian hermeneutic turn had in advancing women’s access to literary and scholarly professions, educational reform and discipline formation.

Andrew Teverson

of the abuse of power and authority. Unlike the two earlier novels, however, The Verses shifts its attention away from the abuses committed by South Asian political leaders towards the abuses that flourished under Margaret Thatcher’s Prime Ministerial watch in 1980s Britain. Specifically the novel, in its dominant narrative line, sets out to explore (or expose) the impact upon Britain’s minority communities of lingering Falklands-era jingoism, and of systematic, institutionalised racism in organisations such as the police force and the media

in Salman Rushdie
Annalisa Oboe and Elisa Bordin

: first of all, trafficking is considered an action , ‘the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons’. The Protocol then defines the means through which this action is carried out: ‘the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person’. Finally it specifies that the action must

in Chris Abani
Open Access (free)
Debatable lands and passable boundaries
Aileen Christianson

pornography.14 As Gray was stirring up writing, the women’s movement was stirring up Scottish society. Post-1979 and the failure of the campaign for a devolved Scottish Assembly, the work of issue-based women’s groups such as Rape Crisis Centres, Scottish Women’s Aid and the Scottish Abortion Campaign ensured that campaigning for change in women’s legal and social positions was grounded in the difference of Scots Law and developed separately from groups in England. Though starting from an identical analysis of male abuse of power, our awareness of English ignorance of our

in Across the margins
Bruce Woodcock

power-crazed psychopathic business world of ‘War Crimes’, but with the unsettling awareness that this is no longer fantasy. Carey paints a vitriolic portrait of social decay and disintegration, the collapse of communal ethics and the sheer rapacity of the business world consequent upon the global market economy of the late 1980s. As in Bliss , he links together two areas of urgent concern, rampant capitalism and child sexual abuse. Abuse in the family is seen in relation to wider failures of social responsibility manifest in the corrupt abuses of power and wealth in

in Peter Carey
Theorising the en-gendered nation
Elleke Boehmer

’s nineteenth-century ‘Bharat Mata’ or ‘Mataram’ formulation. By short-circuiting history (the 1975 Emergency) and myth (‘Mayashakti mothers’ and destructive widows), the novel thus succeeds in setting up a malign (feminine) principle as the motor force governing the disintegration of the by-now-dysfunctional national family.14 Along very similar lines, in Shame, the metaphysical quality of the nation’s shame – all that has gone amiss in terms of the abuse of power – is embodied in the blushing, wordless, demented figure of Sufiya Zinobia, Omar Khayyam’s at first virginal, then

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
Ben Okri, Chenjerai Hove, Dambudzo Marechera
Elleke Boehmer

governments has been used to legitimate abuses of power and absurd displays of megalomania, with consequences both tragic and banal. In terms that are different from yet related to Mbembe’s, the situation is one in which nationalism is detached from its associations with honour, unity, lofty purpose, belonging. National identity becomes less an ideal than a dilemma, BOEHMER Makeup 3/22/05 2:55 PM Page 145 John's G5:Users:john:Public:John's Mac: John's Job Ben Okri, Chenjerai Hove, Dambudzo Marechera 145 an agon or a burlesque.15 As Jean Franco has commented of like

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
Peter Morey

commentator on the abuses of power associated in particular with Indira Gandhi’s administrations. This commentary is played out in novels of rare power and symbolic complexity, which often pit wellintentioned marginal or ‘minor’ figures against sinister institutional forces in a way reminiscent of both the individualistic struggles of the classic modernist subject, and the dutiful Parsi who is required to participate actively in promoting the forces of good and contesting those of evil in the world in the name of Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord. Morey_Mistry_01_Chap 1 5 9

in Rohinton Mistry
Susan Ireland

be called ‘a harki’s grandson’). 13 Rotman’s book, which is based on archival research and the testimony of noncommissioned soldiers (including a harki, Rachid Abdelli), describes their encounter with ‘la violence extrême: torture, exactions, sévices, viols, exécutions sommaires’ (Rotman, 2002: 8) (extreme violence: torture, abuses of power, cruelty, rape, summary executions), all of which are portrayed or evoked in the film. Rotman also made a documentary titled L’Ennemi intime for France 3 (2004). 14 The screenplay was co-written by Philip Faucon, Soraya Nini

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Anne Enright’s The Gathering (2007)
Gerry Smyth

of contemporary Irish sexual mores when she decided to tackle a subject that, for a variety of reasons, had been catapulted to the forefront of Irish public discourse in the decades on either side of the millennium. At the heart of this discourse was the concept of betrayal – which is to say, the abuse of power and the exploitation of trust. This betrayal, moreover, subsists not just on the level of the individual: The Gathering, rather, indicts an entire nation – Ireland, however it may be defined – for the systematic, ongoing betrayal of its people, and in

in The Judas kiss