Reading

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51.452884

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Bibliographic Romance: Bibliophilia and the Book-Object

Early nineteenth-century phenomena such as bibliomania and the figure of the "bookman" helped to spark a widespread awareness of books as printed objects and an interest in the physical dimensions of the readerly relationship to them. Taking as her focus the enormous spurt of bibliophilic writing in the early decades, Ferris looks at how its foregrounding of the physicality of books helped to unsettle key categories of identity and knowledge in the period. Resisting ideals of transfer and reproduction, bibliophilic genres produced a strangely affective book-object which posited the singularity of literate beings and inscribed them in particular and contingent histories rather than in the impersonal forces of circulation and system more typically linked to the printing press. The essay makes its argument through a reading on the one hand of the Romantic familiar essay (e.g. William Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt) and, on the other, of the career of Thomas Frognall Dibdin, prolific bibliographer and premier bibliomaniac, whose reception underlines the way in which the figure of the "bookman" helped to destabilize the divisions organizing the intellectual field.
February 2004

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Stillinger, "Fifty-nine Ways of Reading 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'"

Twentieth-century reading and criticism of Ode on a Grecian Urn began with author biography and relatively mindless appreciation of the beauties of individual pictorial details; made great progress as a result of New Critical emphasis on close reading to uncover irony, paradox, and ambiguity in the poem; gained further sophistication with advent of literary theories--Deconstruction, New Historicism, Feminism, Reader-Response criticism particular--that opened up possibilities for additional meanings poem therefore increasingly multiple, complex, even contradictory responses from its readers. result has been sanction open-endedness, admire Keats all more as genius who provided such rich materials work with, free classroom forever narrowness single-meaning interpretation laid on students by well-intentioned instructors. This essay appears _Ode a Grecian Urn: Hypercanonicity & Pedagogy_, volume _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively Romantic (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University Maryland.

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Wolfson, "The Know of Not to Know It: My Returns to Reading and Teaching Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'"

Ode on a Grecian Urn repays pleasurable labors of careful reading, not as a search for information or an occasion for exposures of ideology, but as a tracking and tracing of language as event, as field of play, as a discovery of indeterminacy in the desire for determinations. This essay appears in _Ode on a Grecian Urn: Hypercanonicity & Pedagogy_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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