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Rethinking the nineteenth century
Editors: Andrew Smith and Anna Barton

This book addresses a number of concerns that have emerged in recent scholarship on the nineteenth century. It contributes to existing dialogues that consider how the nineteenth century can be thought about and critically rethought through literature and other kinds of textual production. The book offers a theoretical consideration of the concept of the nineteenth century by considering Walter Benjamin's famous work The Arcades Project, focusing on Arnold Bennett's entitled 'The Rising Storm of Life'. It outlines how recent developments in Gothic studies have provided new ways of critically reflecting upon the nineteenth century. The book draws attention to the global scope of Victorian literature, and explores the exchanges which took place between Indian and British cultures. It argues that attending to the fashioning of American texts by British publishers enables people to rethink the emergence of American literature as a material as well as an imaginative phenomenon. The relationship between literature and the European anatomical culture is carried out by exploring nineteenth-century narratives from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in the first decades of the nineteenth-century to Charles Dickens's fiction in the 1860s. Historical fiction writers' persistent fascination with the long nineteenth century enacts a simultaneous drawing near to and distancing from the period, the lives of its inhabitants and its cultural icons, aesthetic discourses and canonical works. Adaptive practice in the neo-Victorian novel, applied both to Victorian literary precursors and the period more generally, may be better described as adaptive reuse or, perhaps appropriative reuse.

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Andrew Smith and Anna Barton

series, also titled ‘Interventions: Rethinking the Nineteenth Century’, published by Manchester University Press. This series (also edited by us) aims to provide a space in which scholars can reflect on the nature, scope, and direction of nineteenth-century studies. Whilst wishing to support ongoing research into the period it also aims to foster unorthodox approaches to the nineteenth century which challenge and problematise conventional models of the Victorians and to that end it engages with a notion of the long nineteenth century

in Interventions
The material production of American literature in nineteenth-century Britain
Katie McGettigan

‘domestic’ by echoing the symbolic domestic spaces in The Guardian Angel itself, within discussions of American literature being circulated abroad. Holmes’s letter suggests that a British edition of an American book might construct an American space outside of the nation itself, and that these American books could create transatlantic communication. Holmes perceives the interventions of British publishers as antithetical to this aim; this chapter, however, argues the opposite. It suggests the material interventions of

in Interventions
Having one’s cake and eating it too
Marie-Luise Kohlke

’s subtle contemporaneousness , helping to explain the Victorians’ conversion into such hypocritical embodiments of all-consuming western cultural imperialism and dreams of world domination run amok. Wanting was written at a time of high profile public debates about the legitimacy and efficacy of the US-led NATO military intervention in Afghanistan combatting what might be termed the ‘terrorist desires’ of armed non-state organisations such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda to contest western ideology and geopolitical spheres

in Interventions
Anna Barton

because it might contribute to a reassessment of the relationship between Romanticism and Victorianism, but also because of its implications for methodological divisions between (new) historicist and (new) formalist approaches to the poetry of both periods. This division is described by Marjorie Levinson as the ‘dual commitment of materialist critique’, taking ‘materialist’ to mean both ‘an intervention practice taking the general form of ideology critique’ and ‘an attachment to effects that resist re

in Interventions
Liberalism and liberalisation in the niche of nature, culture, and technology
Regenia Gagnier

limits and contingency of one’s own perspective. This chapter will consider some implications for Victorian Studies suggested by recent developments in the fields of world literatures and globalisation studies. It will draw attention to the global scope of Victorian literature as an actant in world affairs, as in processes of liberalisation, democratisation, and trade, but also to the specificity of each local environment and moment of transculturation. It hopes to make a methodological intervention on behalf of

in Interventions
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Writing popular culture in colonial Punjab, 1885– 1905
Churnjeet Mahn

fairy tales. Despite her literary intervention Steel styles herself as a collector rather than translator of the tales: That is neither a transliteration–which would have needed a whole dictionary to be intelligible–nor a version orientalised to suit English tastes. It is an attempt to translate one colloquialism by another, and thus to preserve the aroma of rough ready wit existing side by side with that perfume of pure poesy which every now and again contrasts so strangely with the other

in Interventions
A Session at the 2019 Modern Language Association Convention
Robert Jackson, Sharon P. Holland and Shawn Salvant

“Interventions” was the organizing term for the presentations of three Baldwin scholars at the Modern Language Association Convention in Chicago in January of 2019. Baldwin’s travels and activities in spaces not traditionally associated with him, including the U.S. South and West, represent interventions of a quite literal type, while his aesthetic and critical encounters with these and other cultures, including twenty-first-century contexts of racial, and racist, affect—as in the case of Raoul Peck’s 2016 film I Am Not Your Negro—provide opportunities to reconsider his work as it contributes to new thinking about race, space, property, citizenship, and aesthetics.

James Baldwin Review
John Schad

The nineteenth-century fear of hell is so terrible as to be itself an experience of hell; if so, it is a fearfully acute apprehension of the infinite distance housed within seemingly finite time. There can be no talk, no measuring, of the length of the nineteenth century without reference to hell, and the fear thereof. The Arcadist's account of the nineteenth century explodes in so many directions that it defeats all attempts to measure it. The strange lesson of Edgar Allan Poe's The Man of the Crowd, the short story seized upon by the Arcadist as, in effect, an allegory of the nineteenth century, the century of the crowd. The face of the twentieth century would seem, however, to be nearly completed, more decidable. The face in the motor-car that is chauffeur-driven through the streets of central London in Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway is a world-historical face.

in Interventions
David Amigoni

This chapter critically reflects on the interface between literature and science in the long nineteenth century. The literature-science field has been characteristically concerned with the transmission of thought and its conveyance by the material channels of technological media. The chapter considers the case of a 'transitional' literary writer Arnold Bennett and examines the aspects of his novel-writing practice that speak of his subtle engagement with Victorian ideas about day-to-day science and technology. It explores Bennett's essay The Rising Storm of Life as a magazine publication which provides a context for reflecting on more direct exchanges between popular writing and scientific ideas. The detail that Bennett employs is indicative of what might be seen as an investment in Herbert Spencer's radical Victorian scientific philosophy. This philosophy has been somewhat overlooked in work on Victorian literature and science, given Charles Darwin's prominence.

in Interventions