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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.

Doris Lessing’s late-twentieth-century fiction
Susan Watkins

). Lessing’s attempt to make her readers aware of the prison, or group mind, inside which they live can be mapped onto Deleuze and Guattari’s stress on deterritorialisation, or escape from boundaries, whether territorial, national or generic. Although its disturbing qualities were often noted, The Fifth Child was generally well received. Lessing’s blend of elements of fantasy, horror, fable and fairy-tale within the realist fabric and framework of the text was generally seen as successful and as an explanation for ‘the visceral response the

in Doris Lessing
Siobhán McIlvanney

littérature mineure (Paris: Minuit, ); in other words, ‘le branchement de l’individuel sur l’immédiat-politique, l’agence- Beur female identity  ment collectif d’énonciation’ (p. ) (‘the connection of the individual to a political immediacy, and the collective assemblage of enunciation’ (Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, trans. Dana Polan (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, ), p. )). The third characteristic, ‘la déterritorialisation de la langue’ (p. ) (‘the deterritorialisation of language’ (p. )) is apparent in the linguistic

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
Theorising the en-gendered nation
Elleke Boehmer

BOEHMER Makeup 3/22/05 2:55 PM Page 22 John's G5:Users:john:Public:John's Mac: John's Jobs 1 Motherlands, mothers and nationalist sons: theorising the en-gendered nation Woman is an infinite, untrodden territory of desire which at every stage of historical deterritorialisation, men in search of material for utopias have inundated with their desires. (Klaus Theweleit, Male Fantasies)1 Among postcolonial and feminist critics it is now widely accepted that the nationalist ideologies which informed, in particular, the first wave of independence movements and of

in Stories of women
Lee Spinks

creative intensity leads only to incoherence and blank passivity. Bolden’s rejection of subjective coherence may expose him to the pure event of becoming, but it also renders him completely vulnerable to the disciplinary violence of institutional forces. Ondaatje’s unhappy sense that the absolute deterritorialisation of subjectivity merely anticipates its violent reterritorialisation at another level resonates throughout the novel’s final pages. It finds its sharpest expression in the stylistic interplay between intensity and narration : Bolden’s beatific insistence

in Michael Ondaatje
Carl Lavery

subverting the epistemic violence of logocentricism (Oswald, 1989 ; Derrida, 1990 , 2004 ; Bougon, 1993 , 1997 , 1998 ; Bougon and Rabaté, 1995 ; Finburgh, 2004 ); and practising a nomadic process of deterritorialisation (Guattari, 1989 ; Durham, 1995 , 1997 , 1998 ; Hardt, 1997 ; Gourgouris, 1998 ; Hardt and Negri, 2001 ; Clark, 2008 ). While the readings referred to above have certainly done much to highlight the sophistication of Genet’s political vision, a shiftin emphasis is required if we are to engage, profitability, with the new line of enquiry

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
Lee Spinks

’s body glancing out’). In perceiving the furious and unthinking energy of rat life, Billy suddenly experiences a becoming-rat; in so doing, he momentarily becomes one with the differential force through which all life emerges. 15 Because Billy may no longer be imagined simply as ‘human’, Ondaatje once again deterritorialises poetic language, opening his medium up to the flow of intensities that precede and exceed its structures. This phase of deterritorialisation is disclosed in the poem’s fluid transposition of pronouns, its reversion from a world of sense into the

in Michael Ondaatje
Simon Malpas and Andrew Taylor

dangers that television might pose to such an autonomously constituted national imaginary become apparent in later, more explicitly postmodern writing (such as Pynchon’s or Don DeLillo’s or Robert Coover’s), in which the technology of television is internalised as part of a narrative cognisant of its global circuits ‘whose perimeters can never again be entirely self-regulating’.27 Vineland participates in this expansion of popular culture, in the deterritorialisation of media images via a globalised economy of brand names, advertisements, and satellite channels – a ‘24

in Thomas Pynchon
Simon Malpas and Andrew Taylor

can never use’ (MD 487–8). Temporal and spatial subjunctives Paul Giles points to surrealism as a key influence on Pynchon’s work, a desire ‘to explore the idea of heterogeneity and dispersal’ as aesthetic strategies for refusing the conformist patterns of an organised and policed ‘reality’.34 Such a strategy of deterritorialisation, following Deleuze and Guattari, works to uncover what Giles calls ‘the blinkers of smug social hierarchies and assumptions’35 embodied in Pynchon’s description of ‘a permanent power establishment of admirals, generals and corporate CEO

in Thomas Pynchon
Politics and aesthetics
Carl Lavery

regardless of their place of birth. In order to tap the revolutionary potential inherent in democracy’s ‘homelessness’, Genet affirms, like Deleuze and Guattari, a deterritorialised geography that erases all ideas of naturalness and propriety. At this point in Genet’s thought, spatial deterritorialisation and poetic invention fuse to become part of the same process. Both are committed to dislocating and reconfiguring space endlessly. Challenged by this infinite rewriting of space, colonialism’s desire to distribute fixed roles and to attribute proper places is rendered

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre