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"Soundings of Things Done":
The Poetry and Poetics of Sound
in the Romantic Ear and Era

About This Volume

This volume of Romantic Circles Praxis Series includes an editor's introduction by Susan J. Wolfson, essays by Susan J. Wolfson, James Chandler, Garrett Stewart, and Adam Potkay.

This forum attends to the sounding sense of Romantic poetry, both thematically (a poetics of sound) and sensually/phonically (the poetry of sound and the sound of poetry). Susan Wolfson's essay audits a range of Romantic poetry for various, multiple, often punning soundings of the word sound as a virtual meta-text for this poetry. Adam Potkay, with his ear tuned to Wordsworth's "Solitary Reaper" and "The Power of Music," investigates Wordsworth's interest in the Orphic power of music to seduce and distract as a form of negotiated civic liberty. James Chandler relays Wordsworth's "Power of Sound" both into the sound of power and into what "sound overpowers" in Wordsworth's Intimations Ode and its Shelleyan coordinates. And our Master-Ear of the Phonotext, Garrett Stewart, catches the "Romantic phone-omenon" in Romantic poetry, its reverberations in Victorian imagination, and its resonance in cognition theory today.

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About the Romantic Circles Praxis Series

The Romantic Circles Praxis Series is devoted to using computer technologies for the contemporary critical investigation of the languages, cultures, histories, and theories of Romanticism. Tracking the circulation of Romanticism within these interrelated domains of knowledge, RCPS recognizes as its conceptual terrain a world where Romanticism has, on the one hand, dissolved as a period and an idea into a plurality of discourses and, on the other, retained a vigorous, recognizable hold on the intellectual and theoretical discussions of today. RCPS is committed to mapping out this terrain with the best and mo st exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship.

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About the Contributors

Susan J. Wolfson is professor of English at Princeton University, author of Formal Charges: The Shaping of Poetry in British Romanticism (1997), as well as several essays on aspects of Romantic forms and formalisms; The Questioning Presence (1986); Borderlines: The Shiftings of Gender (2006); editor of Keats: A Longman Cultural Edition (2007); and Felicia Hemans: Poems, Letters, Reception (2002).

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James Chandler is Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English and in the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as Director of the Franke Institute for the Humanities. His publications include England in 1819 (1998) and Wordsworth's Second Nature (1984). He is co-editor of Questions of Evidence (1992) and Romantic Metropolis (2005). He recently completed work on two edited volumes, the Cambridge History of British Romantic Literature and, with Maureen McLane, the Cambridge Companion to Romantic Poetry (both forthcoming, 2008). He is now finishing a book about the history of the sentimental mode in literature and cinema.

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Garrett Stewart is the author most recently of books on Victorian fiction, painting, and film theory, including Dear Reader (1996), The Look of Reading (2006), and Framed Time (2007). He here revisits and extends his line of argument in Reading Voices: Literature and the Phonotext (1990).

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Adam Potkay is Professor of English at the College of William & Mary. His most recent publications are The Story of Joy from the Bible to Late Romanticism (Cambridge University Press, 2007), an edition of Fielding's Joseph Andrews (Longman, 2007), and "Wordsworth and the Ethics of Things," an essay forthcoming in PMLA (March 2008). He is at work on a study of ethics in Wordsworth's poetry, as well as articles on the locodescriptive in Romantic poetry, and classical reception in eighteenth-century discursive prose.

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