3 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2017
    1. Austen allows Emma to imaginatively misattribute herself. In doing so,she offers the reader a literary red herring. While Harriet may fall in and out oflove as if she is subject to one of Puck’s spells,Emmatakes its cues from adifferent Shakespearean comedy.24Emma, who has‘‘very little intention of ever marrying at all’’, yet is happyto consider Frank Churchill as a potential husband (84), resembles Olivia, the‘‘too proud’’heiress of Shakespeare’sTwelfth Night, whose resolution to live‘‘like a cloistress’’is quickly abandoned when she meets Viola, disguised as aboy.25

      In this brief introduction to the next section of the paper, Murphy challenges existing scholarship that aligns Emma with Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Rather, the author outlines the parallels between Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. I find the connection somewhat tenuous as it almost ignores all of the gender bending and performance of Twelfth Night. While the author's later claim that "the broader themes of deliberate misrepresentation and self-serving delusions" are the tie between the two plays, I find that ignoring the aspects of performance and disguise is problematic.

      I also think that this takes away from Murphy's main argument, which is that Austen's view of influence is broader than the historically main canon, evidence by her parody of Brunton's novel. This section seems to show the opposite, which is a parallel between Austen and Shakespeare.

    2. The solution is to focus not onwhois greatenough to exert influence, or strong enough to grapple with the‘‘anxiety’’oftheir literary inheritance, but rather onhowinfluence operates. What we canlook to, then, are instances of‘‘misreading’’,‘‘misinterpretation’’,‘‘carica-ture’’,‘‘distortion’’and‘‘wilful revisionism’’for what they reveal. Austen isnot the only writer whose works must benefit from such an analysis, but she,perhaps more than any other writer, unrelentingly demands it of her readers.Austen insists that her readers follow her in deliberately, playfully misreadingand reconceiving a broad range of literature, both‘‘high’’and‘‘low’’.Mimicking her misprision in our response to Romantic theories of influence,we can at last recognize how such influence operates on writers whom thecanon ignores or marginalizes: women and novelists, certainly, but alsothose whose influential moment was fleeting, rather than historicallytranscendent

      This seems like the article's thesis to me. Here, the author argues that we should not seek to identify which authors/works are seemingly "worthy" of having an influence on other authors/works. Rather, we should explore on how literary influence is actually functioning in related works.Readers must look to different methods of influence, such as "distortion" and "misinterpretation" in their study of the topic. In the demands that she places upon her readers to be well-informed and attentive, Austen invites us to be a part of a complicated and ongoing literary conversation. Additionally, through studying Austen's works, we can observe the influence of those traditionally left out by the canon.

      This argument does seem relevant and original to me. In my admittedly brief study of literary influence, the discussion is usually exclusively related to the canon. Murphy asks us to consider influence in a broader sense. However, the main question that I have after reading this article relates to computational literary study. Franco Moretti, Matthew Jockers, and other such scholars have made significant strides in the application of computational tools in the study of literary influence. I am very curious as to how this article's premises and main argument would hold up when subjected to such tools. This seems like a weakness to me. Even after my brief study of computational literary analysis, it seems that any conversation of literary influence is incomplete without actually looking at the data.

  2. Sep 2015
    1. The girls hesitate to use such tactics against some men and fall back on feminine displays of weak­ness and helplessness to get them to move.

      Ladies... this is exactly the opposite of "tactics" we want to use to help society understand we deserve gender inequality.. Fight the urge to give in the easy way out