MODERNITY'S MIST: BRITISH ROMANTICISM AND THE POETICS OF ANTICIPATION by EMILY ROHRBACH
Modernity's Mist explores an understudied aspect of Romanticism: its future-oriented poetics. Whereas Romanticism is well known for its relation to the past, Emily Rohrbach situates Romantic epistemological uncertainties in relation to historiographical debates that opened up a radically unpredictable and fast- approaching future. As the rise of periodization made the project of defining the "spirit of the age" increasingly urgent, the changing sense of futurity rendered the historical dimensions of the present deeply elusive.
While historicist critics often are interested in what Romantic writers and their readers would have known, Rohrbach draws attention to moments when these writers felt they could not know the historical dimensions of their own age. Illuminating the poetic strategies Keats, Austen, Byron, and Hazlitt used to convey that sense of mystery, Rohrbach describes a poetic grammar of future anteriority--of uncertainty concerning what will have been. Romantic writers, she shows, do not simply reflect the history of their time; their works make imaginable a new way of thinking the historical present when faced with the temporalities of modernity.
STIRRING AGE: SCOTT, BYRON AND THE HISTORICAL ROMANCE by Robert McColl
Comparisons of Scott and Byron, so natural to 19th century readers, are scarce nowadays. Using a variety of critical and philosophical vocabularies, this study provides a timely and original study of two giants of 19th century European literature engaged in an experimental, mutually-informing, act of genre-splicing, seeking to return history and romance to what both perceived was their native complementarity.
The book shows how both writers utilise historical example to suggest the continuing relevance of romance models, and how they confront threats to that relevance, whether they derive from the linear conception of history or the ‘romantic’ misapprehension of it. The argument proceeds by examining those threats, and then weighing the revival of romance via, rather than contra, the historical.
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Formal letters concerning the acceptance of your proposal for the 41st International Byron Conference in Gdansk will soon be sent out. Those of you who are still hesitating about the contents of your abstract are kindly requested to submit a final proposal as well as a short biogram till March 10th.