Elations: The Poetics of Enthusiasm in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Overview


“Irlam’s readings are deft and judicious, and this study makes a large and . . . brilliant contribution to the field.”—Journal of English and Germanic Philology
“Like Derrida and Paul de Man, what Irlam does is not “scholarship,” but textual reading yoked to a priori metaphysical argument. . . . Irlam’s readings [of Young’s Conjectures on Original Composition], and in his chapters on Thomson, make Elations a book worth inspecting.”—Modern Philology
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Overview


“Irlam’s readings are deft and judicious, and this study makes a large and . . . brilliant contribution to the field.”—Journal of English and Germanic Philology
“Like Derrida and Paul de Man, what Irlam does is not “scholarship,” but textual reading yoked to a priori metaphysical argument. . . . Irlam’s readings [of Young’s Conjectures on Original Composition], and in his chapters on Thomson, make Elations a book worth inspecting.”—Modern Philology
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Irlam's readings are deft and judicious, and this study makes a large and . . . brilliant contribution to the field."—Journal of English and Germanic Philology

"Like Derrida and Paul de Man, what Irlam does is not "scholarship," but textual reading yoked to a priori metaphysical argument. . . . Irlam's readings [of Young's Conjectures on Original Composition], and in his chapters on Thomson, make Elations a book worth inspecting."—Modern Philology

"Irlam brings an imaginative historical perpective to bear on his subjects, contextualizing their achievement through detailed examination of contemporaneous critical and philosophic discourse. . . . The reading of Thomson supported by the preliminary history of enthusiasm is thorough, imaginative, and innovative."—Studies in Romanticism

Booknews
Seeking "to discover what happens inside that black hole of English poetry between neoclassicism and romanticism," Irlam (comparative literature, State U. of New York-Buffalo) excavates the now seldom read poetry of two poets popular in 18th century England, James Thomson and Edward Young. The author explores the etymology of sentiment as a motif of rhetoric evolving from 17th century religious enthusiasm, which led poets to experiment with new ways to express changing views of subjectivity. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804735414
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1999
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Lexile: 1490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author


Shaun Irlam is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Power Speaking
1 Enthusiasm in the Seventeenth Century: The Vicissitudes of an Image 31
2 "For the Benefit of Civil Society": Impressing the Subject 53
3 In the Dungeons of the Sublime: Joseph Addison and "The Pleasures of the Imagination" 83
Pt. 2 Accesses of Ecstasy and the Rhetoric of Self-Alteration
4 Vatic Tremors: Unworlding and Other worldliness in James Thomson's 'The Seasons' 113
5 Altered States: Epiphany and the Logic of Sacrifice in 'The Seasons' 142
6 Immortality, or the Art of Remaining Forever Young: Edward Young's 'Night-Thoughts' 171
7 Absence Begins at Home: Crafting the Moral Subject 201
Epilogue 235
Notes 247
Bibliography 265
Index 279
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