Jane Austen's Textual Lives: From Aeschylus to Bollywood

Voorkant
OUP Oxford, 6 okt. 2005 - 408 pagina's
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Through three intertwined histories Jane Austen's Textual Lives offers a new way of approaching and reading a very familiar author. One is a history of the transmission and transformation of Jane Austen through manuscripts, critical editions, biographies, and adaptations; a second provides a conspectus of the development of English Studies as a discipline in which the original and primary place of textual criticism is recovered; and a third reviews the role of Oxford University Press in shaping a canon of English texts in the twentieth century. Jane Austen can be discovered in all three. Since her rise to celebrity status at the end of the nineteenth century, Jane Austen has occupied a position within English-speaking culture that is both popular and canonical, accessible and complexly inaccessible, fixed and certain yet wonderfully amenable to shifts of sensibility and cultural assumptions. The implied contradiction was represented in the early twentieth century by, on the one hand, the Austen family's continued management, censorship, and sentimental marketing of the sweet lady novelist of the Hampshire countryside; and on the other, by R. W. Chapman's 1923 Clarendon Press edition of the Novels of Jane Austen, which subjected her texts to the kind of scholarly probing reserved till then for classical Greek and Roman authors obscured by centuries of attrition. It was to be almost fifty years before the Clarendon Press considered it necessary to recalibrate the reputation of another popular English novelist in this way. Beginning with specific encounters with three kinds of textual work and the problems, clues, or challenges to interpretation they continue to present, Kathryn Sutherland goes on to consider the absence of a satisfactory critical theory of biography that can help us address the partial life, and ends with a discussion of the screen adaptations through which the texts continue to live on. Throughout, Jane Austen's textual identities provide a means to explore the wider issue of what text is and to argue the importance of understanding textual space as itself a powerful agent established only by recourse to further interpretations and fictions.

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Inhoudsopgave

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Pagina 85 - An accurate daguerreotyped portrait of a commonplace face; a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright, vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses.
Pagina 200 - Cantos of Spenser, into the Irish Channel. How it staggered me to see the fine things in their ore ! interlined, corrected ! as if their words were mortal, alterable, displaceable at pleasure ! as if they might have been otherwise, and just as good ! as if inspiration were made up of parts, and these fluctuating, successive, indifferent ! I will never go into the workshop of any great artist again...
Pagina 173 - ... to pass quietly and carefully down the steep flight, excepting Louisa; she must be jumped down them by Captain Wentworth. In all their walks he had had to jump her from the stiles; the sensation was delightful to her.
Pagina 86 - Jane Austen was successful in everything that she attempted with her fingers. None of us could throw spilikins in so perfect a circle, or take them off with so steady a hand. Her performances with cup and ball were marvellous. The one used at Chawton was an easy one, and she has been known to catch it on the point above an hundred times in succession, till her hand was weary.
Pagina 49 - The considerable slope, at nearly the foot of which the Abbey stood, gradually acquired a steeper form beyond its grounds; and at half a mile distant was a bank of considerable abruptness and grandeur, well clothed with wood ; and at the bottom of this bank, favourably placed and sheltered, rose the Abbey-Mill Farm, with meadows in front, and the river making a close and handsome curve around it.
Pagina 7 - IN the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the holders of houses, above a certain rent, are women. If a married couple come to settle in the town, somehow the gentleman disappears; he is either fairly frightened to death by being the only man in...
Pagina 60 - It is not by the direct method of a scrupulous narration that the explorer of the past can hope to depict that singular epoch. If he is wise, he will adopt a subtler strategy. He will attack his subject in unexpected places; he will fall upon the flank, or the rear; he will shoot a sudden, revealing searchlight into obscure recesses, hitherto undivined. He will row out over that great ocean of material, and lower down into it, here and there, a little bucket, which will bring up to the light of day...
Pagina 151 - ... so probably on account of the weak state of her health, so that one night she retired to rest in very low spirits. But such depression was little in accordance with her nature, and was soon shaken off. The next morning she awoke to more cheerful views and brighter inspirations; the sense of power revived, and imagination resumed its course. She cancelled the condemned chapter, and wrote two others, entirely different, in its stead.

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