About this Volume
This volume of Romantic Circles Praxis Series includes an editor's introduction by Eric Lindstrom, with essays by Paul H. Fry, Eric C. Walker, Emily Sun, Anne-Lise François, Eric Lindstrom, and an afterword by Joshua Wilner.
At a climactic point in Part Four of The Claim of Reason (1979), the American philosopher Stanley Cavell arrives at the striking conclusion that “romanticism opens with the discovery of the problem of other minds, or with the discovery that the other is a problem, an opening of philosophy.” Cavell’s account of how Romanticism opens is not historical in orientation, but rather offers a rich conceptual, aesthetic, and ethical site of concern that both interrupts and generates his life’s work— thus presenting an opening for scholars and students of the Romantic Period to think the subject of Romanticism anew in studying (with) Cavell. The essays in this volume seek to provide the fullest account to date of Cavell’s prompting by Romanticism in light of his powerful record of engagement with British and European Romantic texts: a body of literature on which Cavell has performed several bravura readings. Cavell’s writings and distinctive philosophical approach have garnered an increasing amount of sustained attention over the past several years, particularly since the publication of Philosophy the Day after Tomorrow (2005) and Little Did I Know (2010). Yet beyond his major American subjects of Thoreau and Emerson, there is still little published scholarship that engages Cavell’s thought at extended, close range with Romanticism as the moment that matters so much him: the “perfectionist” opening that comes after religion, but before philosophy. The present collection—with essays (in suggested reading order) by Emily Sun, Paul Fry, Eric Lindstrom, Eric Walker, and Anne-Lise François, and a substantial Afterword by Joshua Wilner—hinges between the efforts to record Cavell’s engagement with British Romantic texts and to stage new interventions.
About the Design and Markup
This volume was designed at the University of Maryland by David Rettenmaier, Site Manager at Romantic Circles. The initial transformation from WORD Doc to TEI P5 was made using the OxGarage tool, with further TEI markup modifications according to RC house style applied by David Rettenmaier. TEI renders text in archival quality for better preservation and future access. Laura Mandell developed the modified versions of the XSLT transforms provided by the TEI that were used to convert the TEI files into HTML.
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 most exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship.
About the Contributors
Eric Lindstrom is an associate professor in the English Department at the University of Vermont, and author of the book Romantic Fiat: Demystification and Enchantment in Lyric Poetry (Palgrave 2011). His essays have appeared in Studies in Romanticism, European Romantic Review, Essays in Romanticism, ELH, Criticism, Literary Imagination, Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, and Thinking Verse.
Paul H. Fry is William Lampson Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies, English, at Yale University. His books and articles range across the history and theory of lyric, the history of criticism, modern literary theory, literature and the visual arts, eighteenth-century literature, and British Romanticism. His most recent books are A Defense of Poetry: Reflections on the Occasion of Writing (1995), Wordsworth and the Poetry of What We Are (2008), The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (ed., rpt. 2012), and Theory of Literature (2012).
Eric C. Walker is Professor and Chair in the Department of English, Florida State University, where he is also a Distinguished University Teaching Professor. His 2009 book Marriage, Writing, and Romanticism (Stanford UP) was the winner of the 2010 SAMLA Studies Book Award. His current work is in adoption studies, toward a book on Romanticism and adoption. An essay from that work, “Adoption, Narrative, and Nation, 1800-1850: The Case of William Austin” is forthcoming in the Journal of British Studies.
Emily Sun teaches English and comparative literature at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, where she founded and directs the Center for Comparative Literature. She is the author of Succeeding King Lear: Literature, Exposure, and the Possibility of Politics (Fordham UP, 2010) and co-editor of The Claims of Literature: A Shoshana Felman Reader (Fordham UP, 2007). She has published essays on politics and aesthetics in British romanticism and co-edited “Reading Keats, Thinking Politics,” a special issue of Studies in Romanticism (Summer 2011).
Anne-Lise François is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English at the University of California, Berkeley. Her first book, Open Secrets: The Literature of Uncounted Experience (Stanford University Press, 2008), received the ACLA’s René Wellek Award in 2010. She is currently completing a manuscript entitled, Provident Improvisers: Parables of Subsistence from Bashō to Berger.
Joshua Wilner is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at City College and the Graduate Center - CUNY. He is the author of Feeding on Infinity: Readings in the Romantic Rhetoric of Internalization (Hopkins, 2000), in addition to numerous essays, including "'Communicating with Objects': Romanticism, Skepticism and the 'Spectre of Animism' in Cavell and Wordsworth" (in Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies: Consequences of Skepticism, ed. Eldridge and Rhies. Continuum, 2011).