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Essays in popular romance

This collection and the romances it investigates are crucial to our understanding of the aesthetics of medieval narrative and to the ideologies of gender and sexuality, race, religion, political formations, social class, ethics, morality and national identity with which those narratives emerge.

Town meets country
Jill Liddington

up and down steep Old Bank she moved between two worlds; she remained excited by new ideas and new technology but, alienated from new and threatening social and political formations, she thrived in country rather than town. Bedeviled by transport and communication difficulties, Halifax had at last been opened up to new markets and to the rest of the industrialising West Riding. The new turnpike road had been dramatically improved by digging a 30-foot cutting at the top of New Bank and raising a 30-foot embankment across Shibden valley. Anne

in Female Fortune
Critical overview and conclusion
Jago Morrison

the theorist Benedict Anderson says in his seminal study Imagined Communities, since the end of the First World War the modern nation-state has been the pre-eminent political formation worldwide. Recognised by membership of such bodies as the League of Nations after 1918 and the United Nations after 1945, it became ‘the legitimate international norm’,28 the definitive licence for peoples to assert their self-determination and to participate formally in global political affairs. Unsurprisingly in this context, the goal of attaining national sovereignty was a

in Chinua Achebe
Open Access (free)
Nicola McDonald

sometimes accommodated, but it is never repressed. And it is with this in mind that I want to return for a moment to the anxieties that exercised romance’s early detractors: popular romance, put simply, is a dangerous recreation. Despite the gulf that inevitably separates us from these medieval narratives, they retain the power to shock us, to unsettle our assumptions about, among other things, gender and sexuality, race, religion, MUP_McDonald_01_Intro 16 11/18/03, 16:56 A polemical introduction 17 political formations, social class, ethics, morality and aesthetic

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Ruth Livesey

disintegrative principle of the novel shadows forth a potential new model of encountering the lives and environments of others. Plunged into the soundscape of hearing in medias res, A City Girl forces us to craft an attentive, rather than investigative, reading position, straining to hear something particular, whilst never being able to fade out the noises of the city into a mere hum. Acknowledgements This chapter reworks some elements of a discussion of the context of socialist fiction previously published in ‘Political Formations: Socialism, Anarchism, Feminism’, in Late

in Margaret Harkness
Sarah Brophy

‘heritage’ topics and forms in ways that harness them to social critique. In The Line of Beauty Hollinghurst’s protagonist, Nick Guest, faces the realisation that at the end of his four years in London, and after many compromises, he cannot sustain his erstwhile intimate relationship with the Tory establishment – a political formation which, it is ultimately revealed, can only locate him and his sexuality as a monstrous affront to upper-class white propriety. With the emergence of HIV/AIDS Nick’s previous, tacit social acceptance is quickly and violently turned around by

in End of empire and the English novel since 1945
Reading the Life of Aḥīqar
Daniel L. Selden

historical account of the splendours and miseries of an Assyrian imperial career. The Life of Aḥīqar, Eduard Meyer observed in 1912, is ‘the oldest book of world literature, internationally diffused through the most disparate tongues and diverse peoples’. What propels the worlding of this text, however, for which no two redactions are the same, has nothing to do with the global flow of cultural capital, but rather with the political and cultural dynamics of the tributary state, that is, the pre-capitalist political formation under which scribes produced

in Bestsellers and masterpieces
Abstract only
Sexuality, Irish moral politics and capitalist crisis,1920–40
Michael G. Cronin

of their populations. These policies were rooted in a crude equation between the power of a state and the size of its population, and were part of the larger goal of imperialist conquest. In Nazi Germany this pursuit of population growth was modified by the pursuit of racial purity and the implementation of eugenicist practices to achieve this. In other European countries opposition to birth control and the promotion of familist policies was grounded in more traditionally rightwing political formations. In particular, France outlawed ‘propaganda’ about birth

in Impure thoughts
Michael G. Cronin

and male, but which are taken to be normative and universal’ with the ‘attention to how Anna and Helen depend on each other for their mutual growth’ in The Land of Spices.76 He concludes that the two novels ‘provide bipolar models for coming of age: male versus female’.77 An alternative is to see these novels as employing two ways of narrating history. The temporality of Bildung in Portrait appears to be analogous to that of revolution. It requires a wholesale rejection of the existing state of things and of the pervading social and political formations. However

in Impure thoughts
Abstract only
Remapping early modern literature
Matthew C. Augustine

reading and reception. Movement between and across borders is at the centre of my story: eschewing umbrella terms and convenient binaries, this study is drawn instead to the vexed interstices of political formations, spiritual identities, and literary networks. In pursuing its argument, the book moves through a series of case studies, largely focused on major writers of the period: from John Milton and Thomas Browne, who saw their writings of the 1620s and 1630s published amidst the turmoil of civil war; to Andrew Marvell, Lord Rochester, and John

in Aesthetics of contingency