prevalent. In the first part of his essay, Robertson applies the
methods of Franco Moretti’s ‘distant reading’ in support of his contention
that Parliament’s 1643 ordinance, on the whole, successfully restricted the
London press’s output when it came into effect that June. In the context
of this increased control of the press, Robertson then traces the battles
waged in print and in courtroom trials (accounts of which were, of course,
then printed) over the liberties, or lack thereof, enjoyed by authors and
publishers during this tumultuous decade. Whereas traditional
consumed literary discourses
under colonialism even in America. It follows that the Gothic
quickly became part of a world-literary system along the lines
theorised by Franco Moretti ( 2011 ) and as
such, elsewhere, outside of Europe, it entered into a compromise
with local literary conventions and forms of representation. One
such compromise was the Indian compromise. The question
by internal power shifts, echoes a
concern with a reverse colonialism that is most clearly exemplified in
Dracula’s (1897) account of an Eastern European
(largely Jewish) invasion of modern Britain. 17
It is difficult to isolate social, racial, and national
prejudices from debates about the ownership of the economic system.
Franco Moretti claims that Stoker’s Count (a demonstrably
target literature)” (“Laws,” 54).
Not surprisingly, given the terminology of the definition, to date these
ideas about literary interference have been explored primarily with reference to inter-cultural transfer and influence, such as conceptualizing, for
example, the impact that a hegemonic culture can have on the cultural
productions of a less powerful culture, as in comparatists’ recent discussions of the disproportionate influence of the English-language literary
system on the literary systems of other nations and peoples (e.g., Moretti,
“Conjectures”; and Moretti
fulfilled. Tell them that they are more than just data on a league table. Give them power through language. Trust them to use it.
1 One might also ask if there is anything wrong with reading something in order to ‘get the news’ from it. In a post-truth era, getting ‘the news’ might itself be a matter of life and death.
2 For an illuminating take on the ‘closeness’ of close reading, see Armstrong 1995 , which is a response to Barrell 1988 ; I take this subject up myself in chapter 5’s discussion of ‘loose’ reading. Franco Moretti’s
undertaking would only be possible with an
army of researchers, perhaps utilising the statistical methodology of
Franco Moretti’s Graphs, Maps, Trees.10 Selection is necessary, so it is the
novels that are most demonstrative of particular types of closure, rather
than ones that use biblical iconography or geological metaphor, that are
included. Moreover, the novel is such a fertile form that it is not feasible
to assert that narrative fiction changed direction in this period.
Nonetheless, the novels selected show that these new forms were not
hidden away in experimental
romances of Maryan, it is possible to draw some general conclusions
about the kinds of narrative that drew large readerships. If ‘high’ literature
is characterised by a self-conscious will to seek new forms, to question
and reinvent the relationship between language and experience, popular
literature seeks to provide reliable pleasures, both cognitive and affective,
and thus observes the norms established by previous successes even as it
plays new variations on existing themes and narrative chords. As Franco
Moretti suggests, the history of popular literature is closer
Poems, p. 201.
32 Carolyn Steedman, ‘The Poetry of It (Writing History)’, Angelika Bammer and RuthEllen Joeres (eds), The Future of Scholarly Writing. Critical Interventions, Palgrave
Macmillan, New York NY, 2015, pp. 215–226.
33 ‘Historical thought was an essential element of almost every poem Auden wrote in 1955’.
Edward Mendelson, Later Auden, Faber and Faber, London, 1999, pp. 390–392.
34 The most succinct and resonant account of these processes, of heart and mind and
writing, remains Franco Moretti’s Way of the World. The Bildungsroman in European
his subordinate position as a petty bourgeois professional, but it
initiated a long line of haughty aristocratic bloodsuckers, tinged with
ancient and decadent grandeur. 24 Though in Polidori and Varney and Le Fanu, the
vampire crosses from the villages of Middle Europe to be invited in over
the threshold of the polite drawing room, in Stoker’s
Dracula he truly enters modern urban life. 25 Confusingly, as Moretti
The economics of salvation in Dracula and the Twilight Saga
Jennifer H Williams
famously describes in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of
Capitalism : a faith that would regard Carlisle’s good
deeds in the world as indirect evidence of an otherworldly
election’ (pp. 74–5). For a contrasting account of
vampires and the Protestant work ethic, see Franco Moretti’s
‘A Capital Dracula ’, pp. 90–104.