18 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2021
    1. In this sense, it is both bond and weapon. Lorenz also thinks in Whiggish style that humour has progressed historically – that we are funnier now than we were in antiquity, and that contemporary humour is in general subtler and more searching than that of our ancestors.

      Is this true or do we just have bad translators?

    2. Alenka Zupančič writes with rash generality of how comedy ‘sustains the very oppression of the given order or situation, because it makes it bearable and induces the illusion of an effective interior freedom’. Konrad Lorenz also treats the comic as essentially conservative, remarking that ‘laughter forms a bond and simultaneously draws a line’. He means that the solidarity humour breeds is inseparable from a sense of one’s difference from others, and may thus breed a certain antagonism towards them.

      Interesting. I have previously thought that comedy, or humor, is just as exclusionary as it is inclusionary. The author here alludes to a form known as ironic distance.

  2. Jun 2021
    1. Finally, Ihave included chapters on two novels by Charles Brockden Brownbecause I wanted to show that texts already in the canon, whichmodern critics have considered artistically weak or defective, as-sume a quite different shape and significance when considered inlight of the cultural "work" they were designed to do

      New question: Who was the critic who said Wilkie Collins lost his edge when he found a cause, and does it line up with this timeline?

    2. canon

      Tompkins, at this time, is comfortable with keeping the canon alive.

    3. And this led to the observation, again not original withme, that popular fiction, in general, at least since the middle ofthe nineteenth century, has been rigorously excluded from theranks of "serious" literary works.

      I think we can go farther than the 19th century. See Reading in Early Modern England

    4. Onepurpose of this book is to ask why these works, many of whichdid not seem at all deficient to their original audiences, have cometo seem deficient in the way I have just described. Another is toquestion the perspective from which these deficiencies spring tomind.

      For annotated bibliography:

      This book looks closely the historiography of 19th century literature to try and understand why these works are disfavored by critics in our day when they were favored by readers in theirs.

    5. None is thought to have a distinguished prose style or toreflect a concern with the unities and economies of formal con-struction that modern criticism seeks in great works of ar

      They lack, perhaps, what Matthiessen called the "organic principle".

    6. n fact, what all of these texts share, from the perspective of mod-ern criticism, is a certain set of defects that excludes them fromthe ranks of the great masterpieces: an absence of finely delineatedcharacters, a lack of verisimilitude in the story line, an excessivereliance on plot, and a certain sensationalism in the events por-trayed.

      Basic Question #5: What were common criticisms of popular literature?

      1. Absence of finely delineated characters
      2. Lack of verisimilitude
      3. Excessive reliance on plot
      4. Certain sensationalism in the events portrayed.
    7. more fit for children thanfor adults.

      NQ: Is reorganizing a book's readership from adults to children a common strategy to trivialize that work's importance?

      This tracks with Richard Brodhead's observation that literature got harder. Brodhead states the rediscovery of the 19th century's great authors is connected to the rise of a new professoriate, which was a professoriate "trained not so much in general humane learning as in field-specific expertise." "This version of our literature," Brodhead explains, "requires the aid of expert assistance to bring it home to the common mind--and so helps support the value of expertise more generally."

    8. modernist point of view, which tends to clas-sify work that affects people's lives, or tries to, as merely sensa-tional or propagandistic.

      Basic Question #3: Who were the critics of popular 19th century fiction?

      Answer: In Sensational Designs, Topkins is quick to point out that the modernists have made popular literature "suspect...as merely sensational or propagandistic."

    9. the last thirty years

      1950-1980, roughly.

  3. Dec 2020
    1. beard

      Collin's has associated facial hair with criminality in other texts. Should we watch our back around Franklin?

    2. foolish story

      Betteredge is a picky reader, and this reads like his second snub against sensational fiction.

    3. ‘Father will tell you, sir. He’s a wonderful man for his age; and he expresses himself beautifully.’

      This is not the first time Betteredge has fluffed his feathers. How can we quantify vanity?

  4. Nov 2020
    1. On the night before the assault on Seringapatam, he was absurdly angry with me, and with others, for treating the whole thing as a fable.

      At this point it is clear the cousin will acquire the Moonstone. If the curse is real, is the text punishing characters with an interest in pantheism?

    2. A similar superstition was once prevalent, as I have heard, in ancient Greece and Rome; not applying, however (as in India), to a diamond devoted to the service of a god, but to a semi-transparent stone of the inferior order of gems, supposed to be affected by the lunar influences

      The backdrop of the narrator's story is westward expansion, and this is important to keep in mind because it can correlate to lines like this. Here, the narrator demystifies the moonstone of its superstition by fitting it into a western geologic history. Notice that he does not totally demystify it. Our narrator may not be superstitious, but he is a little stitious.

    3. Yellow Diamond begin with the eleventh century of the Christian era

      Forced periodization--obviously the narrator will depend on this convention for time his readers will understand, but it shows a systematic take over of the Moonstone's history.

    4. A Romance

      The term "Romance" is distinct from "Novel" in the 19th C, and their generic differences were thoughtfully debated by writers like Hawthorne, Cooper, and Simm (McCall 115). The former genre is fantastic and latter realistic. Therefore, when we try to solve the mystery of The Moonstone, we may need to look to the fantastical, not logical/plausible.