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Introducing contingency and that which did not happen as necessary and revealing conditions both of Romanticism itself and of our critical relationship with it, Counterfactual Romanticism explores the affordances of counterfactualism as a heuristic and as an imaginative tool. Innovatively extending counterfactual thought experiments from history and the social sciences to literary historiography and literary criticism and theory, the volume reveals the ways in which the shapes of Romanticism are conditioned by that which did not come to pass. Exploring – and creatively performing – various modalities of counterfactual speculation and inquiry across a range of Romantic-period authors, genres and concerns, and identifying the Romantic credentials of counterfactual thought, the introduction and eleven chapters in this collection offer a radical new purchase on literary history, on the relationship between history and fiction, on our historicist methods to date – and thus on the Romanticisms we (think we) have inherited. Counterfactual Romanticism provides a ground-breaking method of re-reading literary pasts and our own reading presents; in the process, literary production, texts and reading practices are unfossilised and defamiliarised. To emancipate the counterfactual imagination and embrace the counterfactual turn and its provocations is to reveal the literary multiverse and quantum field within which our far-from-inevitable literary inheritance is located.

The academy and the canon
Damian Walford Davies

Counterfactual Romanticism 11 •• Counterfactual and future Romanticisms: the academy and the canon Edward Larrissy Romanticism, ideology and the counterfactual Counterfactual histories are heuristic constructions: they are made in order to reveal and explore the road not taken, the possibility whose potential was thwarted by a chain of events of different origin or temper. They thus share characteristics with those alternative histories that were beloved of postmodernist fiction-writers and theorists. Yet the motives that prompted the latter were subtly

in Counterfactual Romanticism
Andrew Bowie

2 German Idealism and early German Romanticism Thinking the infinite The immediate consequences from the 1790s onwards of the perceived failure of Kant’s attempt to ground philosophy in the principle of subjectivity are apparent in two areas of philosophy which carry the broad names ‘German Idealism’, which is mainly associated with Fichte, Schelling and Hegel; and ‘early Romanticism’, which is mainly associated with Novalis, Friedrich Schlegel and (in some respects) Friedrich Schleiermacher.1 There are, as we shall see, crucial respects in which these two

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Damian Walford Davies

Romanticism and the Chinese awakening 10 •• Romanticism and the (counterfactual) Chinese awakening Peter J. Kitson China and Romantic orientalism Today, ‘Romantic Orientalism’ is an established and vibrant sub-field of postcolonial Romantic Studies, with major new interventions appearing with great frequency. The focus of this critical endeavour, following Edward Said, has primarily been on the ‘Near East’, the Levant and India. This is because – as Said argued – British and French colonial policy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was largely

in Counterfactual Romanticism
An Introduction
Jerrold Hogle

This essay introduces this special issue on ‘Romanticism and the “New Gothic”’, which contains revisions of essays presented at a special seminar at the 1999 joint conferences of the International Gothic Association (IGA) and the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Hogle argues that the ‘Gothic’ as a highly counterfeit and generically mixed mode in the eighteenth century was a quite new, rather than revived old, aesthetic which allowed for the disguised projection - or really abjection - of current middle-class cultural fears into symbols that only seemed antiquated, supernatural, or monstrous on the surface. Romantic writers thus faced this mode as a symbolic location where feared anomalies of their own moment could be faced and displaced, and such writers reacted to this possibility using some similar and quite different techniques. Post-Romantic writers, in turn, ranging from Emily Dickinson all the way to the writers and directors of modern films with Gothic elements, have since proceeded to make the Gothic quite new again, in memory of and reaction to Romantic-era uses of the new Gothic. This recurrent remaking of the Gothic comes less from the survival of certain features and more from the cultural purposes of displacing new fears into symbols that recall both the eighteenth-century Gothic and Romantic redactions of it. The papers in this special issue cover different points in this history of a complex relationship among aesthetic modes.

Gothic Studies
Scott, Banim, Galt and Mitford
Damian Walford Davies

Counterfactual Romanticism 8 •• Counterfactual speculations in late Romanticism: Scott, Banim, Galt and Mitford Angela Esterhammer Counterfactualism takes on a variety of forms in the literature of the 1820s – the decade in which the concept of the factual itself emerged.1 In the prose genres that increasingly dominated the literary marketplace, ‘fact’ in the form of history, documentary and life-writing confronts that which counters or mediates fact: fantasy, fakery, imagined history, pure speculation. Indeed, the term speculation is especially prevalent in

in Counterfactual Romanticism
Florence D’Souza

early nineteenth-century poetical creations. To follow Professor David Arnold’s regrouping of these literary allusions as types of Romanticism, they would correspond to (a) sentimental Romanticism with nostalgia and allusions to human sensory perceptions; (b) Orientalist Romanticism, with dark representations of the tropical world and the fabled Orient; and (c) Byronic Romanticism, with references to intrepid

in Knowledge, mediation and empire
Roger Paulin
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
H. B. Charlton
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
H. B. Charlton
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library