Lyric Generations: Poetry and the Novel in the Long Eighteenth Century

Overview

Eighteenth-century British literary history is traditionally characterized by two central and seemingly discrete movements: the rise of the novel and the development of Romantic lyric poetry. In fact, recent scholarship reveals that these genres are inextricably bound: constructions of interiority developed in novels changed ideas about what literature could mean and do, encouraging the new focus on private experience and self-perception developed in lyric poetry.

In Lyric ...

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Overview

Eighteenth-century British literary history is traditionally characterized by two central and seemingly discrete movements: the rise of the novel and the development of Romantic lyric poetry. In fact, recent scholarship reveals that these genres are inextricably bound: constructions of interiority developed in novels changed ideas about what literature could mean and do, encouraging the new focus on private experience and self-perception developed in lyric poetry.

In Lyric Generations Gabrielle Starr rejects the usual genealogy of lyric poetry in which Romantic poets are thought to have built solely and directly upon the works of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton. She argues instead that novelists such as Richardson, Haywood, Behn and others, while drawing upon earlier lyric conventions, ushered in a new language of self-expression and community that profoundly affected the aesthetic goals of lyric poets. Examining the works of Cowper, Smith, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Keats in light of their competitive dialogue with the novel, Starr advances a literary history that considers formal characteristics as products of historical change. In a world increasingly defined by prose, poets adapted the new forms, characters, and moral themes of the novel in order to reinvigorate poetic practice.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Eighteenth-Century Fiction - Sophie Gee
Starr is an excellent close reader, and her observations about so large and diverse an array of texts are fresh, striking, and downright smart.
New Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century - Christopher Johnson
Starr provides a brilliant reading of Clarissa.
Modern Language Quarterly - Deirdre Lynch
Starr excels... in juxtaposing works seldom compared and so granting us the wherewithal to reframe familiar histories of formal change.
Studies in Romanticism - Anne Williams
Original and compelling book... that should inspire discussion for some time to come.
Choice
In this intriguing formal study Starr breaks down the conventional barriers between the history of poetry and the history of the novel... Overall, a subtle and carefully executed genre study, of interest to anyone in 18th-century or Romantic studies.
Choice

In this intriguing formal study Starr breaks down the conventional barriers between the history of poetry and the history of the novel... Overall, a subtle and carefully executed genre study, of interest to anyone in 18th-century or Romantic studies.

Wordsworth Circle
For fifteen years or so, using a term provided by Mikhail Bakhtin, some Wordsworthians have characterized Wordsworth's lyric poetry as 'novelized.' G. Gabrielle Starr's Lyric Generations gives that characterization new force en specificity in the context of a larger argument that traces the interrelations of poetry and the novel through the long eighteenth century.

— Don Bialostosky

Times Literary Supplement
Refreshingly, this impressive study of poetic form does not read the eighteenth century as a slow road to Romanticism, but fleshes out the period with surprising and important new detail.
Cercles
The rise of the novel, argues Starr, is strongly influenced by the lyric poetry which preceded it, while at the other end of the century romantic poetry owes much, in turn, to the rise of the novel.

— Bill Phillips

Eighteenth-Century Fiction
Starr is an excellent close reader, and her observations about so large and diverse an array of texts are fresh, striking, and downright smart.

— Sophie Gee

J. Modern Language Quarterly
Starr excels... in juxtaposing works seldom compared and so granting us the wherewithal to reframe familiar histories of formal change.

— Deirdre Lynch

Studies in Romanticism
Original and compelling book... that should inspire discussion for some time to come.

— Anne Williams

Wordsworth Circle - Don Bialostosky
For fifteen years or so, using a term provided by Mikhail Bakhtin, some Wordsworthians have characterized Wordsworth's lyric poetry as 'novelized.' G. Gabrielle Starr's Lyric Generations gives that characterization new force en specificity in the context of a larger argument that traces the interrelations of poetry and the novel through the long eighteenth century.
Cercles - Bill Phillips
The rise of the novel, argues Starr, is strongly influenced by the lyric poetry which preceded it, while at the other end of the century romantic poetry owes much, in turn, to the rise of the novel.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801873799
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

G. Gabrielle Starr is an assistant professor in the department of English at New York University.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Clarissa and the Lyric 15
2 Modes of Absorption: Lyric and Letter in Behn, Haywood, and Pope 47
3 Lyric Tensions: Sympathy, Displacement, and Self into the Midcentury 72
4 Rhetorical Realisms: Chaismus, Convention, and Lyric 101
5 The Limits of Lyric and the Space of the Novel 125
6 The Novel and the New Lyricism 159
Notes 203
Bibliography 275
Index 293
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