Criticism

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Criticism
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Criticism
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Criticism

Intervention & Commitment Forever! Shelley in 1819, Shelley in Brecht, Shelley in Adorno, Shelley in Benjamin

For Romantic and Modernist studies, as well as for the history of critical theory, Kaufman uncovers and analyses the significance of Left Modernist and Frankfurt School rediscoveries of Shelley. The essay also considers the crucial role that Shelley's work plays vis-a-vis the new directions taken in the work of these Modernist artists and critics precisely during the periods often seen as having laid the foundations for the subsequent Modern/Postmodern divide, as well as for our own understandings of the Romantic legacy.
May 2001

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Shelley's Agenda Writ Large: Reconsidering Oedipus Tyrannus; or, Swellfoot the Tyrant

Throughout Oedipus Tyrannus; or, Swellfoot the Tyrant, Shelley employs the same devices he poses as the instruments of revolution in his so-called visionary works—specifically, the body and sexual transgression; but in this satire, he demonstrates how these devices may be appropriated by tyrants just as potently as by revolutionaries. In Swellfoot, Shelley poses these instruments in a manner inconsistent with his own broader agenda of liberty-through-love in order to demonstrate their innate political power; that is, by exposing the tyrannical uses to which these devices may be put, Shelley departicularizes them from what might otherwise be dismissed as naïve idealism. Instead, Shelley demonstrates how the body and its transgressions affect change at the level of politics and, consequently, in individual lives—whether for good or bad, whether in the interest of liberation or oppression. In Swellfoot the Tyrant, Shelley begins to justify his belief that love is the law that governs the universe; that is, his satire remarks on the ways in which both Iona Taurina's transgressive engagements and her relationship with her husband function to affect the tenor of Swellfoot's regime and, in a broader context, how these engagements (fail to) reconfigure the political landscape of the play. In short, Shelley's Swellfoot the Tyrant spectacularizes the processes through which intimate relationships inform political realities, and thus the satire privileges the realm of the erotic as the experiential space from which the moral law of the universe might be re-written.
May 2001

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O'Rourke, "Introduction"

O'Rourke asked a diverse group of professors of Romanticism what might look like the most routine pedagogical question: How do you teach the Ode on a Grecian Urn? The energy and ingenuity with which the contributors to this volume addressed this question gives some sense of the range and the subtlety of the ways in which the enigmas that Keats confronted in a silent urn are being recreated in American (and Australian) classrooms. 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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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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Thomson, "Teaching Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' in New Zealand"

Thomson argues for the productivity of teaching Keats's Ode on a Grecian Urn in a context which emphasizes Keats's poetics of encounter and the passionate intensity which characterizes these encounters. Those encounters are studied in lectures and tutorials which explore Keats's literary and cultural context, in particular early nineteenty-century public access to works of art. This essay appears in _Ode on a Greican 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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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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Robinson, "Deforming Keats' 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'"

To deform a poem is to intervene significantly in the poem's physical structure (e.g. reading the poem backwards, reading only nouns) in order to highlight features of the poem not easily noticeable. With a famous poem like Keats's Ode on a Grecian Urn such an activity makes one realize how we too easily pre-read the poem. 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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O'Donnell, "Three or Four Ways of Looking at an Urn"

In the undergraduate classroom the hypercanonized Urn needs first to be de-familiarized and re-presented as a dynamic, self-conflicted, and fruitfully perplexing artifact. Such an approach challenges a view of poetry that seems to be increasingly prevalent, according to which a poem is a more or less elaborate code and reading a process of discovering hidden meaning. Awakening students to a lively appreciation of the surface of a poem and to the possibility that the poem means exactly what (and everything that) it says can be an end in itself (in the introductory course) or can underlie other approaches, more concerned with historical, philosophical, or psychological approaches. This essay appears in _Ode on a Grecian Urn_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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