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From the Publisher"David Simpson pursues an elegant thesis: Wordsworth's writing is haunted by specters and automatons because it records the early stages of modernity as shaped by the 'ghostly' work of the commodity form... Other critics have written about Wordsworth and modernity, and Romanticists will note quick, dense treatments of subjects such as time, 'thing theory,' and wartime displacement that have received more extensive discussion elsewhere. This does not diminish the value of the clarity and range of theoretical exposition here or of Simpson's sharp, economical descriptions of the state of modernity... Most admirably, the book demonstrates that political and historical criticism can be evaluative, even appreciative. Simpson reminds us that Wordsworth's poetry remains urgent, not only because of what it may tell us about his modernity and our own but because, as this dazzling series of analyses shows, what is unsaid and undone—what is unsayable and undoable—remains both spectral and present there."
-Brian Goldberg, Modern Language Quarterly March 2012