Literature

Michael Edson, ed. Publishing, Editing, and Reception: Essays in Honor of Donald H. Reiman. Review by Bysshe Inigo Coffey

Publishing, Editing, and Reception: Essays in Honor of Donald H. Reiman, ed. Michael Edson (University of Delaware Press, Newark: 2015). Hbk $90, E-Book available ISBN: 978-1611495782

Bysshe Inigo Coffey

Donald H. Reiman remains a looming presence in Romantic scholarship. Author of The Study of Modern Manuscripts and Intervals of Inspiration, he was also the general editor of the monumental The Bodleian Shelley Manuscripts (23 volumes) and The Manuscripts of the Younger Romantics (29 volumes). Today he edits (with Neil Fraistat and Nora Crook) The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley for Johns Hopkins. 

About this Volume

About this Volume

What might romantic minimality and brevity suggest as alternative additions to our critical vocabulary in romantic studies? How do they allow us to think differently—and briefly—about a constellation of questions and perspectives that throw into relief the necessity to think through the small, negligent, obscure, too little or too much, the ephemeral, the

May 2016

Minimal Romanticism

What might romantic minimality and brevity suggest as alternative additions to our critical vocabulary in romantic studies? How do they allow us to think differently—and briefly—about a constellation of questions and perspectives that throw into relief the necessity to think through the small, negligent, obscure, too little or too much, the ephemeral, the mere there is, the all but not there? The authors of the position papers collected for this issue were each asked to respond to just these kinds of prompts, and to keep their arguments operatively brief. Conciseness and intensification in service of our theme of brevity and minimality was the order of the day. The space between stanzas, like the disappearance of a ruin into history, became equal considerations for reflecting on the brevity of things that the larger “life” of romanticism cannot ever ignore.

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May, 2016

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On Point

This essay offers the phenomenon of theatrical points to consider the transformative power of these multi-sensorial highpoints in metropolitan Georgian theater.  Defined by the OED as a gesture, vocal inflection, or some other piece of theatrical technique used to underline a climactic moment in a speech, role, or situation, points often coincide with a play's textual highpoint, which they also surpass by temporarily stopping the show and shifting attention to the embodied significance of words.  They are brief, stunning, and highly anticipated moments and thus add to the suspension and extension of time as experienced in theater.

May 2016

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The Minimal Unit

The minimal unit in romantic-period writing maintains the uneasy status of being in time as well as out of it: both temporalized as a condition of occurring and sufficiently freestanding to withstand incorporation to any narrative in which the present would be captured by the future in becoming anterior and contained or, in the case of poem like Shelley’s “Mont Blanc,” in bringing “vacancy” to some larger account. Closer to an instance of “stopped time,” the minimal unit marks an interval where time proceeds just enough for something monadic to occur as a pathway (or detour) to something else--some other timescape, some other world or stratum, some recessive consciousness--of which the unit is now an apprehendable trace.

May 2016

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Shelley and the Hermeneutics of Abbreviation

This essay addresses Percy Shelley’s exploration of linguistic brevity as a temporal and spatial phenomenon. Beginning with Shelley’s rethinking of John Horne Tooke’s account of grammatical abbreviation and of the tropological and iconographic significance of the figure of the wingéd Hermes (Mercury), the essay also draws intertextual connections in Shelley’s poetry to Horace’s “Ars Poetica” and to the “Homeric Hymn to Hermes.”

May 2016

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Introduction: Too Much, Too Little: Of Brevity

What might romantic minimality and brevity suggest as alternative additions to our critical vocabulary in romantic studies? How do they allow us to think differently—and briefly—about a constellation of questions and perspectives that throw into relief the necessity to think through the small, negligent, obscure, too little or too much, the ephemeral, the mere there is, the all but not there? The authors of the position papers collected for this issue were each asked to respond to just these kinds of prompts, and to keep their arguments operatively brief. Conciseness and intensification in service of our theme of brevity and minimality was the order of the day. The space between stanzas, like the disappearance of a ruin into history, became equal considerations for reflecting on the brevity of things that the larger “life” of romanticism cannot ever ignore.

May 2016

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