Making Waste: Leftovers and the Eighteenth-Century Imagination

Overview

"This is a vivaciously written, multidimensional study of the problem and promise that waste posed to the eighteenth-century English imagination. It is surprisingly and commendably concise, given its topic, and it frames economic, political, anthropological, and historical analysis with a very fine literary sensibility—one that actively appreciates the role that imaginative writing played in the negotiation of a paradox that turns out to be constitutive of modern English ...

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Overview

"This is a vivaciously written, multidimensional study of the problem and promise that waste posed to the eighteenth-century English imagination. It is surprisingly and commendably concise, given its topic, and it frames economic, political, anthropological, and historical analysis with a very fine literary sensibility—one that actively appreciates the role that imaginative writing played in the negotiation of a paradox that turns out to be constitutive of modern English identity."—Jayne Lewis, University of California, Irvine

"Making Waste is a pleasure to read—vividly, gracefully, wittily written. It will be a valuable contribution to eighteenth-century literary and cultural studies."—Cynthia Wall, University of Virginia

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
This brief book on an unlikely topic is packed with insights. By focusing on 'waste,' Gee has found an original way to look at the literature of the Restoration and early 18th century. . . . Best of all, she always writes clearly, making her book accessible even to beginners.
Studies in English Literature
For a book concerned largely with filth, Making Waste is stylistically pristine. Gee writes with an elegance and fluency that buoys her thinking from one topic to the next. . . . Rarely does criticism read so well.
— Jonathan Kramnick
Scriblerian
Dazzling in its range of reference and implications, Making Waste springs to life like Swift's gaudy tulips, mixing memory and desire like lilacs bred out of the dead land, and inviting us to feast on the rich literary and theoretical harvest Ms. Gee has gleaned from the leftover.
— Lynn Festa
Studies in English Literature - Jonathan Kramnick
For a book concerned largely with filth, Making Waste is stylistically pristine. Gee writes with an elegance and fluency that buoys her thinking from one topic to the next. . . . Rarely does criticism read so well.
Scriblerian - Lynn Festa
Dazzling in its range of reference and implications, Making Waste springs to life like Swift's gaudy tulips, mixing memory and desire like lilacs bred out of the dead land, and inviting us to feast on the rich literary and theoretical harvest Ms. Gee has gleaned from the leftover.
From the Publisher
"This brief book on an unlikely topic is packed with insights. By focusing on 'waste,' Gee has found an original way to look at the literature of the Restoration and early 18th century. . . . Best of all, she always writes clearly, making her book accessible even to beginners."—Choice

"For a book concerned largely with filth, Making Waste is stylistically pristine. Gee writes with an elegance and fluency that buoys her thinking from one topic to the next. . . . Rarely does criticism read so well."—Jonathan Kramnick, Studies in English Literature

"Dazzling in its range of reference and implications, Making Waste springs to life like Swift's gaudy tulips, mixing memory and desire like lilacs bred out of the dead land, and inviting us to feast on the rich literary and theoretical harvest Ms. Gee has gleaned from the leftover."—Lynn Festa, Scriblerian

Choice

This brief book on an unlikely topic is packed with insights. By focusing on 'waste,' Gee has found an original way to look at the literature of the Restoration and early 18th century. . . . Best of all, she always writes clearly, making her book accessible even to beginners.
Studies in English Literature

For a book concerned largely with filth, Making Waste is stylistically pristine. Gee writes with an elegance and fluency that buoys her thinking from one topic to the next. . . . Rarely does criticism read so well.
— Jonathan Kramnick
Scriblerian

Dazzling in its range of reference and implications, Making Waste springs to life like Swift's gaudy tulips, mixing memory and desire like lilacs bred out of the dead land, and inviting us to feast on the rich literary and theoretical harvest Ms. Gee has gleaned from the leftover.
— Lynn Festa
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691139845
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2009
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Sophie Gee is assistant professor of English at Princeton University and the author of "The Scandal of the Season" (Scribner), a novel based on the story behind Alexander "Pope's Rape of the Lock". She writes regularly for the "New York Times Book Review", the "Washington Post", and the "Financial Times".
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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS vii
Introduction: Making Waste 1
Chapter 1: The Invention of the Wasteland: Civic Narrative and Dryden's Annus Mirabilis 18
Chapter 2: Wastelands, Paradise Lost, and Popular Polemic at the Restoration 41
Chapter 3: Milton's Chaos in Pope's London: Material Philosophy and the Book Trade 67
Chapter 4: The Man on the Dump: Swift, Ireland, and the Problem of Waste 91
Chapter 5: Holding On to the Corpse: Fleshly Remains in A Journal of the Plague Year 112
Afterword: Mr. Spectator's Tears and Sophia
Western's Muff 137
NOTES 145
BIBLIOGRAPHY 169
INDEX 187

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