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An Empire Nowhere: England, America, and Literature from Utopia to The tempest by Jeffrey Knapp; Stephen Greenblatt (Editor)
Call Number: PR129.A4 K58 1992
Publication Date: 1991-12-01
What caused England's literary renaissance? One answer has been such unprecedented developments as the European discovery of America. Yet England in the sixteenth century was far from an expanding nation. Not only did the Tudors lose England's sole remaining possessions on the Continent and, thanks to the Reformation, grow spiritually divided from the Continent as well, but every one of their attempts to colonize the New World actually failed. Jeffrey Knapp accounts for this strange combination of literary expansion and national isolation by showing how the English made a virtue of their increasing insularity. Ranging across a wide array of literary and extraliterary sources, Knapp argues that English poets rejected the worldly acquisitiveness of an empire like Spain's and took pride in England's material limitations as a sign of its spiritual strength. In the imaginary worlds of such fictions asUtopia,The Faerie Queene, andThe Tempest, they sought a grander empire, founded on the "otherworldly" virtues of both England and poetry itself.
British Romantic Writers and the East by Nigel Leask
Call Number: PR129.A78 L4 1992
Publication Date: 1993-02-04
The recent turn to political and historical readings of Romanticism has given us a more complex picture of the institutional, cultural and sexual politics of the period. There has been a tendency, however, to confine such study to the European scene. In this book, Nigel Leask sets out to study the work of Byron, Shelley and De Quincey (together with a number of other major and minor Romantic writers, including Robert Southey and Tom Moore) in relation to Britain's imperial designs on the 'Orient'. Combining historical and theoretical approaches with detailed analyses of specific works, it examines the anxieties and instabilities of Romantic representations of the Ottoman Empire, India, China and the Far East. It argues that these anxieties were not marginal but central to the major concerns of British Romantic writers. The book is illustrated with a number of engravings from the period, giving a visual dimension to the discussion of Romantic representations of the East.
Narrative moves. Stories migrate from one culture to another, over vast distances sometimes, but their path is often difficult to trace and obscured by time.Fabulous Orientslooks at the traffic of narrative between Orient and Occident in the eighteenth century, and challenges the assumption that has dominated since the publication of Edward Said'sOrientalism(1978) that such traffic is always one-way. Eighteenth-century readers in the West came to draw their mental maps of oriental territories and distinctions between them from their experience of reading tales "from" the Orient.
In this proto-colonial period the English encounter with the East was largely mediated through the consumption of material goods such as silks, indigo, muslin, spices, or jewels, imported from the East, together with the more "moral" traffic of narratives about the East, both imaginary and ethnographic. Through analyses of fictional representations (including travellers' accounts, letter narratives such asLetters Writ by a Turkish Spy, and popular sequences of tales such as theArabian Nights Entertainments) of four oriental territories (Persia, Turkey, China and India), Ros Ballaster demonstrates the ways in which the East came to be understood as a source of story, a territory of fable and narrative.
Fabulous Orientsis structured according to territory rather than genre. Each section opens by re-narrating an oriental story in which a feminine character serves to "figure" western desire for the territory she represents: the courtesan queen of the Ottoman seraglio Roxolana; the riddling Chinese princess Turandocte; and the illusory sati of India, Canzade. The book goes on to explore the range of fabulous writings relating to each territory in order to illustrate how certain narrative tropes can come to dominate its representation: the conflict between the male look and female speech staged in the seraglio in the case of Turkey and Persia, the inauthenticity and/or dullness associated with China and its products such as porcelain, and the illusory dreams that are woven in the space of India and associated with its textile industries.
This is the first book-length study of the oriental tale to appear for almost a century. Informed by recent historiographical and literary re-assessments of western constructions of the East, it develops an original argument about the use of narrative as a form of sympathetic and imaginative engagement with otherness, a disinvestment of the self rather than a confident expression of colonial or imperial ambition.
Kipling's Kingdom by Rudyard Kipling; Charles Allen (Introduction by, Selected by)
Call Number: PR4852 .A4 1987
Publication Date: 1987-10-01
Oroonoko, or, The Royal Slave by Aphra Behn
Call Number: PR3317 O7 2000
Publication Date: 1999-10-01
Including the full text of Aphra Behn's novella Oroonoko, this volume explores its global historical context through a number of literary, philosophical, and historical texts designed to place the work in a literary history as well as a relational history of the three regions the story unites: West Africa, The Caribbean, and England. Documents from each corner of the "Triangular Trade", such as slave trader correspondence, travel accounts from Surinam, and legal decisions concerning slavery in England, combine to add to the richness of this earliest literary narrative written in English about an American colony.
Oroonoko: An Authoritative Text, Historical Background, Criticism by Aphra Behn; Joanna Lipking (Editor)
Call Number: PR3317 .O7 1997
Publication Date: 1997-01-17
The editor supplies explanatoryannotations and textual notes.
"Historical Backgrounds" is an especially rich collection ofseventeenth-and eighteenth-century documents about colonizers andslaves in the new world. Topically arranged-"Montaigne on America,""The Settling of Surinam," "Observers of Slavery, 1654 “1712," "AfterOroonoko: Noble Africans in Europe," and "Opinions on Slavery"-theseselections create a revealing context for Behn "s unusual story.Illustrations and maps are also included.
"Criticism" begins with an overview of responses to Behn and Oroonoko,from learned and popular writers of her time to Sir Walter Scott andVirginia Woolf, among others. Current critical interpretations are byWilliam C. Spengemann, Jane Spencer, Robert L. Chibka, Laura Brown,Charlotte Sussman, and Mary Beth Rose.
A Chronology of Behn "s life and a Selected Bibliography are included.
The Arabian Nights in English Literature by Peter Caracciolo (Editor)
Exemplary Romantic novelists Ann Radcliffe, Sir Walter Scott, and Mary Shelley were likewise keen tourists and influential contributors to the discourse of Romantic tourism. The shaping power of this discoursealready highly developed in poetry, travel literature, and the visual arts by the time they began writingaffected not only what they saw and felt on tour but also how they imagined their greatest novels. Defining both tour and novel as privileged spaces exempt from the boring routines and hampering contingencies of ordinary life, these authors as well as many of their contemporaries and early Romantic predecessors effectively brought the tour into fiction and fiction into the tour.
This is the first extended study of the intimate connections between these two major cultural innovations of the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and the first to pay close attention to the active commerce, the fluid interplay, within the larger discourse of Romantic tourism, between British Romantic fiction, poetry, tour books, landscape painting, and book illustration (as exemplified by the collaboration between Scott and J. M. W. Turner).