28 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2017
    1. Emma’s multiplicity of subplots, andits preoccupation with the reading, rereading and misreading of writing within,and events internal to, the text, renders the novel a manifesto for Austen’sapproach to the‘‘judicious’’, critical reading necessary to understanding thefunction of literary influence in her fiction

      The author makes it clear that she will be explicating her thesis via the example of Emma. In this sentence, she connects Austen's approach to reading, writing, and readership to the notion of literary fiction. Again, I'm not sure if the following paragraphs do live up to the expectation she sets up here.

    2. It is this practice of judicious, critical, ingenuous reading that we mustadopt in order to understand the ways in which Austen uses the texts of otherwriters to create her own fiction*in order, that is, to rethink the meaningof‘‘influence’’as it pertains to this central figure in the history of women’swriting.

      In this sentence, the author makes a transition between Austen's expectations for her readership's literary knowledge and reading practices and the notion of literary influence. Here, she argues that Austen's requirement for "judicious, critical, ingenuous reading" is necessary for the reader to understand how influence operates in Austen. I am not quite sure if I agree with this assessment. In the later paragraphs, I do not feel that the author's argument explicitly shows that informed readership is necessary to understand influence in Emma. Rather, the audience gives more of a plot summary and information about the reading practices within the novel, not those required for its audience.

    3. evenNorthanger Abbey’sCatherine Morland can be persuaded to recognize the geographic and temporalboundaries of the Gothic novels she loves

      Another test to run with R!

    4. Austen, unsurprisingly,rejects Brunton’s didacticism wholeheartedly. She also tones down Brunton’sheroine, and Emma Woodhouse has none of Ellen Percy’s monstroustendencies.

      This coincides with the notion of influence from the beginning of the article that claims that influence occurs with a misreading or revision of the original work.

    5. The catalyst forthe novel, however, seems to have been a straightforward reaction to a newwork by an author Austen considered her competition*the Scottish MaryBrunton’sDiscipline(1814).Disciplineis a fictional autobiography with the strong religious themes ofsin, repentance and redemption.

      The author claims here that Emma was inspired by the 1814 novel Discipline by Mary Brunton, which surely is not part of the male literary canon laid out earlier in the article. The author outlines the main themes of Discipline and explains the relationship between the two authors.

      I feel like a broken record here, but again, this seems to be a very tenuous point without computational analysis. The author's own language belies this tenuousness as she says that the novel's inspiration "seems to have been a straightforward reaction" to another novel. The word "seems" does not inspire confidence.

    6. The figure of the Quixote*from the seventeenth-century Don Quixote of la Mancha to Emma’s namesake Emma Bovary*isessential to the development and evolution of the novel as a genre, promotingthe self-reflexivity, promiscuous intergeneric and intrageneric allusion, andmeditations on realism and reality that are the genre’s hallmarks

      Another test to run - Emma as compared to other quixotic novels, especially The Female Quixote!

    7. Inthe first, Emma uses the fact of Harriet Smith’s illegitimacy as a springboardfor the birth-mystery plot beloved of sentimental novelists.

      Another possible tie for DH work - running comparisons on these sentimental novels and Emma.

    8. Charlotte Lennox’sTheFemale Quixote(1752) and even Eaton Stannard Barrett’sThe Heroine(1813) arecases in point.

      I would like to perform quantitative analysis on Emma and these texts, in addition to other 18th century texts such as Evelina.

    9. Emmais unique in Austen’s adult oeuvre in its obsession not only withother texts, but with the unspecific stock elements of the eighteenth-centuryand Romantic-era novel.

      Once again, here is another point that I believe it could almost be irresponsible to make without quantitative analysis. I don't know that it is empirically true that Emma is "unique" in its "obsession" with other texts and "stock elements of the eighteenth-century and Romantic-era novel."

    10. s the late Brian Southam has noted, Austen benefited personally from thisimportant educational development through her access to an extraordinarilybroad range of literature from a very young age.8By the time she came topublish her novels, the benefits of this advance in education were being felt inan unparalleled expansion and sophistication of literary culture.

      Here, the author ties Austen's education in with her expectations of her readership.

    11. Austen’s expectation of readerly ingenuity is ultimately what sets her apartfrom other novelists of the Romantic period. As generations of critics havefound, Austen’s work is deliberately, at times even maddeningly, puzzling toreaders.

      The author claims that Austen has high expectations of "readerly ingenuity." I am not sure that the evidence here from a mystery writer quite supports the claim. I would have preferred that Murphy perform a close reading of a passage that is "deliberately, at times even maddeningly, puzzling to readers" to demonstrate her point here.

    12. The Romantic concept of literary influence, articulated in its present-dayincarnation by Harold Bloom, must expand to encompass not only the work ofwomen, but also the work of both canonical and extra-canonical writers, if itis to be of any help in assessing Jane Austen’s work as a critical reader, anda critical rewriter. ‘‘

      I believe that DH work could be instrumental in accomplishing this vision. Since the literature of this time is in the public domain, it is indeed possible to run tests of influence and similarity on all existing manuscripts.

    13. artistic influence

      After learning about the concept of measuring literary influence with DH tools, it is difficult for me to read any scholarship on influence without automatically thinking what the "data" would say.

  2. 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.

    3. Most of the time, in the modernage, influence is arbitrary, unconscious and disconcertingly widespread. Noreader is entirely free to think outside of the pathways literature has laiddown for her. None can wholly escape, in Austen’s words, our compulsion to‘‘fall into a quotation’’.30However independent and authentic we believe ourthinking to be, we are all operating under the influence

      Here, Murphy ties together the notion of readership and literary influence. I do find the last sentence to be somewhat unclear - what influence are readers operating under? What is the compulsion to fall into a quotation?

    4. Much must be lost if we restrict our reading of influence to Bloom’sconcept of the‘‘Poet confronting his great original’’, beyond its implicationsfor a closed and potentially sterile canon.29Such an understanding of‘‘influence’’cannot account for the novel’s great achievement.

      This is the beginning of the author's conclusion when she confronts the idea of the the restrictive nature of the canon and literary influence.

    5. It is not to be expected that any character withinEmmamight be able toexercise the kind of judgment of its creator or perform the kind of judiciousreading that Austen’s text ultimately demands. This does not prevent Austenfrom demonstrating how her characters can betaughtto read and to judgeclearly.

      Here, Murphy makes the connection back to readership and the characters of Emma.

      This, incidentally, made me think of the quote on the new British ten pound note: "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!" which was certainly a satirical denotation.

    6. Like other quixotic heroines before her, Emma has a habit of turningeverything she sees into a romance plot.

      Much like Catherine in Northanger Abbey!

    7. Austen’s debt to Brunton is in the tradition of eighteenth-century parody,a descendant of works likeJoseph Andrews(1742), and does not indicate herartistic approbation of the novelist or her works.

      This is a key point as Murphy argues that while Austen is influenced by Brunton, it does not mean that she endorses her work. Rather, as Murphy states later, Emma is a direct rejection and parody of Brunton's "didacticism" (106).

    8. If we enlarge our understanding of the concept of‘‘influence’’, we canbegin to see the ways in which artistically unremarkable, canonicallydisregarded works inform the development even of masterpieces. Ros Ballastercorrectly states that:[...] most women novelists of the eighteenth century tended to locatetheir own writing in relation to a strong line of male predecessors orcontemporaries [...] if women read each other’s work they did not, forthe most part, openly acknowledge influence.16Jane Austen is the exception to this rule. Far from shamefacedly concealing herdebt to Brunton’s novel, on the contrary, Austen’s linguistic allusions toDisciplineinEmmadraw the reader’s attention to the two novels’intimateconnection

      This is a key section. Here, the author claims that Jane Austen's Emma is influenced by the rather unremarkable and certainly much less well known novel Discipline. This is in contrast to the existing tradition. Murphy cites and agrees with Ballaster's argument that 18th century women authors situated their own work within the male tradition and did not seek recognition for the influence of other female authors. However, Murphy argues that Austen makes obvious the connection to Brunton.

    9. Despite the continued aggravations ofconservative, moralistic, unskilful novel readers, whose tedious responsesto her innovative fiction Austen collected in her‘‘Opinions’’ofEmmaandMansfield Park(1814), Austen could rely on a growing phalanx of clever,curious and‘‘judicious’’readers whose taste for more complex literary fare hadbeen nurtured since childhood.

      Here, the author summarizes her paragraph on education and access to literature to bolster her argument about Austen's assumptions about the knowledge level of her readership. I believe that this is an important point, as it shows WHY and HOW Austen was able to have such high expectations for her readers.

    10. Such active, criticalreading, of course, distinguishes the work still expected of students andscholars of literature, and Austen’s assumption of this ability in her readers wasunderpinned by historic changes in the study of literature.

      Here, Murphy makes a claim and supports it with a secondary source on the place of literature in English education. In doing so, Murphy is illuminating the basis of Austen's assumption of a certain body of literary knowledge.

    11. ‘‘I do not write for such dull Elves’’, wrote Jane Austen to her sisterCassandra in 1813,‘‘As have not a great deal of Ingenuity themselves’’.

      Here, the author turns to a primary source, a letter by Jane Austen, to research her views of her readers. While authorial intention is often inscrutable, such a primary source can assist in evaluating Austen's notions of readership.

    12. This formation renders literary influence almost as arbitrarily unjustand misogynistic as the actual system of patrilineal inheritance which, havingbeen consolidated in the eighteenth century, formed the backbone of theBritish economy and its law, and provided the historical background to theplots of Austen’s novels.

      In this section of the introduction, the author explicates Harold Bloom's concept of literary influence, which "involves two strong, authentic poets" who are "inevitably dead, white, middle-class men" (Murphy 101). In other words, models of literary influence presuppose masculine writers who belong to the restrictive literary canon. This also implies that influence beyond such a canon is undesirable.

    13. his essay demonstratesAusten’s career-long preoccupation with the nature and practice of reading, andher attempts to train an ideally critical reader. It is through such active, critical,objective reading that Austen developed her manifesto for a new kind of novel inthe face of ongoing cultural conservatism*a form which, unburdened by theinfluence of heroic predecessors, could maintain its connections with a rich literaryheritage without suffering from the creativity-stifling anxieties of poetic influence.

      Here, the author outlines the main argument of the article, which is that Jane Austen aimed to cultivate a critically aware reader and, in doing so, creates a new novel that gains influence from manifold sources, not just the literary canon.

    14. This essay argues that her attitudetowards literature was equally critical.

      This follows up on the author's comparison of influence and inheritance systems. Here, we can see that Austen turned a critical eye not only upon patriarchal inheritance laws but also patriarchal systems of literary influence.

    15. This is hardly less arbitrarily unjust or patriarchal than the actualsystem of patrilineal inheritance consolidated in the eighteenth century, formingthe backbone of the British economy and its law, and providing the historicalbackground to Jane Austen’s novels

      The connection between the unfair genealogical model of literary and artistic inheritance and patrilineal inheritance laws is interesting here, as several of Jane Austen's novels, especially Sense and Sensibility, are shaped by the deleterious effects of this system upon their characters.