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Unofficial Laureate

Algernon Charles Swinburne is acknowledged to be one of the most important Victorian poets, a founding figure for British aestheticism, and the dominant influence for many fin-de-siècle and modernist poets. This book is a collection of essays that re-evaluate his literary contribution. It brings together some of the best new scholarship on Swinburne, resituating him in the light of current critical work on cosmopolitanism, politics, print culture, form, Victorian Hellenism, religious controversy, gender and sexuality, the arts, and aestheticism and its contested relation to literary modernism. The first section lays emphasis on Swinburne's embeddedness and centrality in a culture from which he has been partly written out. It examines Swinburne's involvement in the history of cosmopolitanism, a field of enquiry that is attracting growing attention among literary critics. This section provides complementary accounts of the difficult and often invisible dynamics behind influence and marginalisation, unveiling narratives of problematic acceptance and problematic rejection, by a female and a male poet respectively. Through a detailed examination of Swinburne's unpublished flagellatory poem 'The Flogging-Block', the book discovers a web of connections between the nineteenth-century culture of metrical discipline and the pedagogic discipline of minors portrayed through sexual fantasy. The last section of the book examines Swinburne's own influence on his modernist successors. The twin mechanics of poetic dialogue and cultural polemic is also discussed. T. S. Eliot's ambivalence towards Swinburne left a strong mark on twentieth-century criticism.

Cosmopolitanism and the psychoanalysis of groups
Jackie Stacey

On being open to difference: cosmopolitanism and the psychoanalysis of groups Jackie Stacey What might it mean to be open to difference? The touchstone of the current cosmopolitan vision, the concept of openness to difference, has been widely welcomed in debates across the humanities and social sciences.1 But how do we know when others are open to the differences we represent and vice versa? What is the ­register of such openness: is it cognition, intention, affect, viscera? And difference in relation to whom or what exactly? What kind of openness is at the

in Writing otherwise
From insular peace to the Anglo-Boer War
Julia F. Saville

In his editor’s introduction to the six-volume Swinburne Letters, Cecil Y. Lang describes the insularity that came to dominate Algernon Charles Swinburne’s thinking particularly after the mid-1870s: ‘The most cosmopolitan of English poets was transformed into the most parochial and chauvinistic of British jingoes. The republican-turned-“English Republican” became

in Algernon Charles Swinburne
Sarah Brophy

gay men’s – complicity with the Thatcherites, a complicity, the novel suggests, driven by a desire for access to the glamour of wealth. While it anticipates Nick’s violent expulsion from the Feddens’s home and social circle, the dream of the servants’ staircase as an anal passageway provides a preliminary incitement to reflect on how precarious projects of social inclusion and accommodation can be. Queer cosmopolitanism in and beyond the 1980s Alan Sinfield analyses ‘homosexual disturbance’ in the twentieth-century English novel by noting structural parallels

in End of empire and the English novel since 1945
Cosmopolitanism and cultural mediation in aesthetic criticism
Stefano Evangelista

influential early proponent of the aesthetic prose style that would, from the 1870s onwards, be perfected by Pater and that would become one of the most effective platforms for the expression of an English decadent sensibility (see Maxwell 2006 ). In this chapter I argue that Swinburne’s early critical writings promote a theory of aesthetic cosmopolitanism that emerges from a sustained polemical dialogue with Matthew Arnold. In a

in Algernon Charles Swinburne
Nicholas Halmi

to engage with Italian literature poetically. Focusing on the poems Byron wrote in the years 1817–​20, in particular The Lament of Tasso, The Prophecy of Dante, two stanzas of the fourth canto of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and the translation of the first canto of Pulci’s Morgante Maggiore, we can see how Byron exploited both the writings and the figures of Italian writers (especially the exiled Dante and imprisoned Tasso) to construct his own cosmopolitan poetic identity. In a famous essay written in 1839, the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini described Byron

in Byron and Italy
Andrew Teverson

Timothy Brennan in his critical study Salman Rushdie and the Third World identifies Rushdie as being a member of a distinctive and historically original group of writers that has come to prominence in the period following the formal dissolution of the British Empire. These writers are described by Brennan as Third World cosmopolitans : migrant intellectuals who are identified with a Western metropolitan elite in terms of class, literary preferences and educational background, but who, by virtue of ethnicity, are also presented by the

in Salman Rushdie
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Catherine Maxwell and Stefano Evangelista

together some of the best new scholarship on Swinburne, resituating him in the light of current critical work on cosmopolitanism, politics, print culture, form, Victorian Hellenism, religious controversy, gender and sexuality, the arts, and aestheticism and its contested relation to literary modernism. It is our hope that these fresh perspectives will confirm Swinburne’s central importance both to late Victorian

in Algernon Charles Swinburne
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Laura Peters

reason that, as Nandy intimates in The Intimate Enemy, the experience of empire-building profoundly affected not only the family – as has been argued in the previous chapters – but also the nation and discourses of national identity. New discourses of cosmopolitanism contested older nationalistic discourses as the constituent population of England, more specifically London, started to diversify with an

in Orphan texts
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Nation, gender and place in the literary landscapes of Haworth and Brussels
Charlotte Mathieson

legacy more broadly, particularly with regard to the parallel mythologisation of the Brontë sisters at Haworth parsonage. I focus on two themes that have emerged as the dominant issues at stake in the legacy of Brontë tourism at Haworth to date: gender and nation. While Haworth serves to reiterate Charlotte Brontë’s place as an English, female writer, I suggest that Brussels offers a space where an alternative narrative unfolds, one that offers possibilities for reading the crafting of female independence through cosmopolitan interactions, and in doing so provides a

in Charlotte Brontë