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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.

Open Access (free)
Jonathan Atkin

case, for Plowman the only natural way of living. When it came to his own choice, Plowman felt that, as he had supported the war machine by fighting, his only option was just as obviously to fight against it by ‘getting into prison for peace’. Despite a trial and appeal, Plowman was sent a call-up notice at the start of July 1918 and became tangled in a web of bureaucracy between the two government departments of Registration and Appeals. He was in danger of being sent to prison as a deserter and not as a conscientious objector, which moved Plowman to comment on the

in A war of individuals

Ralph Knevet's Supplement of the Faery Queene (1635) is a narrative and allegorical work, which weaves together a complex collection of tales and episodes, featuring knights, ladies, sorcerers, monsters, vertiginous fortresses and deadly battles – a chivalric romp in Spenser's cod medieval style. The poem shadows recent English history, and the major military and political events of the Thirty Years War. But the Supplement is also an ambitiously intertextual poem, weaving together materials from mythic, literary, historical, scientific, theological, and many other kinds of written sources. Its encyclopaedic ambitions combine with Knevet's historical focus to produce an allegorical epic poem of considerable interest and power.

This new edition of Knevet's Supplement, the first scholarly text of the poem ever published, situates it in its literary, historical, biographical, and intellectual contexts. An extensive introduction and copious critical commentary, positioned at the back of the book, will enable students and scholars alike to access Knevet's complicated and enigmatic meanings, structures, and allusions.

Open Access (free)
Sara Haslam

in some horrific way thus more psychologically healthy? It is just this kind of hypothesis with which Daniel Pick has taken issue. He says in his introduction to War Machine that ‘the writers I discuss are men, and often men for whom war evidently raises troubling questions of sexuality and gender, even though, at the same time, war is frequently said to resolve them’.78 He asks critics to be wary of attributing a healing, relieving, power to war. In some respects this healing does occur, and does so in Ford’s wartime character of Christopher Tietjens. As explored

in Fragmenting modernism
Andrew Frayn

, but a victim, a man things are done to; in his war world, heroism is simply not a relevant term’.67 Traditional heroism does not endure, but it remains relevant: Harry’s awareness of his failure to live up to military ideals causes his decline, and those ideals define heroism. The war changes heroism from daring bravery to stoical endurance: the need to remain stoical can no longer be relieved by catharsis, but repression must continue in the service of the war machine as individuality is eradicated. David Trotter links the slow decay of previous enchantments with

in Writing disenchantment
Clemence Dane and Virginia Woolf
Jenny Hartley

(London: Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1937), quoted in D. Pick, War Machine:The Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), p. 231. 25 Woolf, Three Guineas, p. 26. 26 Monk’s House

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
Andrew Frayn

’ (SFT, 553). The only way to escape from the war machine is to stop its inexorable movement by putting it into reverse. Men then become visible again, able to be seen in themselves, not only as part of an unfathomably large process. However, despite the reversed machine, there is no chance of returning men to the state in which they entered it. The war’s duration was a significant cause of disenchantment. Madeleine, in free indirect discourse, describes ‘the daily growing aftermath of disillusionment in the war’ (SFT, 220) and similarly, the narrator of Sixty

in Writing disenchantment
The War Books Boom, 1928–1930
Andrew Frayn

so sure that it does not rise on occasion to an intensity of feeling which friendship never touches. It may be less in itself, I don’t know, but its opportunity is greater. Friendship implies rather more stable conditions, don’t you think? You have time to choose. Here you can’t choose. (MPF, 143) The element of choice separates camaraderie and friendship, as Sarah Cole points out: it is ‘the difference between a world that valorizes the individual and one in which human beings become fodder for a voracious war machine.’80 The alienation of mass living is felt

in Writing disenchantment
Open Access (free)
Sara Haslam

. Hergenhahn, An Introduction to the History of Psychology, 2nd edn (Pacific Grove, CA, Wadsworth, 1992), p. 470. Edith Kurzweil and William Phillips (eds), Literature and Psychoanalysis (New York, Columbia University Press, 1983), p. 18. Dangerfield, The Strange Death of Liberal England, p. 90. Daniel Pick, War Machine: The Rationalization of Slaughter in the Modern Age (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1993), p. 110. Ford Madox Ford, The Soul of London (London, Alston Rivers, 1905), p. 120. I also discuss Ford’s progression from the nineteenth-century idea, via Otto

in Fragmenting modernism
Abstract only
Bruce Woodcock

same time, the title and the idea of the building itself, a great copper dome, recall Xanadu and the pleasure dome in Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’, as well as echoing the ideas of Hitler’s architect Albert Speer. In his memoir Inside the Third Reich (first published 1970), Speer described his plans to embody Hitler’s fantastic conception of a great domed hall as a place of worship and mass congregation. For Carey, Speer embodied the contradictory figure of a ‘decent chap who ended up running the Nazi war machine’ and an artist who was given creative freedom by a

in Peter Carey