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After Bakhtin: Essays on Fiction and Criticism.

The book brings together a selection of the author’s shorter writings from the years 1989–2014. This work can lay claim to a broad thematic unity based on its affiliation to the realist or rationalist traditions in moral philosophy. Some of the essays seek to clarify the relation of feminism to these traditions and to current anti-rationalist tendencies: especially important here are the status and prospects of normativity, autonomy, purposive action, and other conceptual resources for critical thinking which were called into question over (roughly) the last third of the twentieth century — not least by feminist writers heedful of ‘Continental’ European developments. All are concerned with fundamental ethical questions — including, but not restricted to, questions of feminist ethics — such as the nature of value and the good life; moral requirements and their associated epistemology; character-formation and the ideological critique of the processes by which this is effected. The essays deploy ideas drawn both from Platonic-Aristotelian and from Kantian ethics, as well as from the later philosophy of Wittgenstein. However, they also attempt to respond to the destabilizing impact of Nietzschean and postmodernist thought.

Women's Autobiography: Essays in Criticism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980.

"This quatrain seems to have been inspired by four lines in a Monody on the Death of Queen Caroline by G.'s friend Richard West (reprinted in Dodsley's Collection (1748) ii 269 ff.): 'Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power, / Our golden treasure, and our purpled state, / They cannot ward th'inevitable hour, / Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.' But the sentiment occurs frequently in Horace, e.g. Odes I iv 13-4: pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas / regumque turres (Pale Death with foot impartial knocks at the poor man's cottage and at princes' palaces); I xxviii 15-6: sed omnes una manet nox, / et calcanda semel via leti (But a common night awaiteth every man, and Death's path must be trodden once for all); and II xvii 32-4: aequa tellus / pauperi recluditur / regumque pueris (For all alike doth Earth unlock her bosom - for the poor man and for princes' sons). Cp. also Cowley, translation of Horace, Odes III i 15-16, 21: 'Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, and pow'r, / Have their short flourishing hour / ... / Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand'; Mallet, Excursion i 290-2 'Proud greatness, too, the tyranny of power, / The grace of beauty, and the force of youth, / And name and place, are here-for ever lost!'; and Dart, Westminster Abbey I xviii (see ll. 17-20 n above): 'To prove that nor the Beauteous, nor the Great, / Nor Form, nor Pow'r, are Wards secure from Fate.' G.'s lines have also been compared to Edward Phillips's Preface to Theatrum Poetarum (1675), in J. E. Spingarn, Critical Essays of the 17th Century (1908-9) ii 258 (and cp. l. 59n below): 'no wonder if the memories of such Persons as these sink with their Bodys into the earth, and lie buried in profound obscurity and oblivion, when even among those that tread the paths of Glory and Honour, those who have signaliz'd themselves either by great actions in the field or by Noble Arts of Peace or by the Monuments of their written Works more lasting sometimes than Brass or Marble, very many ... have fallen short of their deserved immortality of Name, and lie under a total eclipse.'"

Literature in the Modern World: Critical Essays and Documents.

"Cp. 'His soul proud Science never taught to stray', Pope, Essay on Man i 102."

"'There has always appeared to me a vicious mixture of the figurative with the real in this admired passage. The first two lines may barely pass, as not bad. But the hands laid in the earth must mean the identical five-fingered organs of the body; and how does this consist with their occupation of swaying rods, unless their owner had been a schoolmaster; or waking lyres, unless he were literally a harper by profession? Hands that ''might have held the plough'' would have some sense, for that work is strictly manual; the others only emblematically or pictorially so. Kings nowadays sway no rods, alias sceptres, except on their coronation day; and poets do not necessarily strum upon the harp or fiddle as poets.' (Charles Lamb in The London Magazine, December 1822.)
But much good poetry would be destroyed by this criticism: e.g. 'Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd, / Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.' (Lycidas, 159.) The body of a dead man ('this identical' four-limbed structure of flesh and bone) cannot be said to 'sleep by' a 'fable', except figuratively. Yet the beauty of the passage depends upon this 'mixture of the figurative with the real'; suggesting, as it does, that the young man whom they all knew is already numbered with the heroes of half-remembered myth."

"'There has always appeared to me a vicious mixture of the figurative with the real in this admired passage. The first two lines may barely pass, as not bad. But the hands laid in the earth must mean the identical five-fingered organs of the body; and how does this consist with their occupation of swaying rods, unless their owner had been a schoolmaster; or waking lyres, unless he were literally a harper by profession? Hands that ''might have held the plough'' would have some sense, for that work is strictly manual; the others only emblematically or pictorially so. Kings nowadays sway no rods, alias sceptres, except on their coronation day; and poets do not necessarily strum upon the harp or fiddle as poets.' (Charles Lamb in The London Magazine, December 1822.)
But much good poetry would be destroyed by this criticism: e.g. 'Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd, / Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.' (Lycidas, 159.) The body of a dead man ('this identical' four-limbed structure of flesh and bone) cannot be said to 'sleep by' a 'fable', except figuratively. Yet the beauty of the passage depends upon this 'mixture of the figurative with the real'; suggesting, as it does, that the young man whom they all knew is already numbered with the heroes of half-remembered myth."

"Cp. Pope, Essay on Man [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Pope, Essay on Man iv 260: 'Tell (for You can) what is it to be wise?'"

"The success of the Elegy was remarkable. The Monthly Review iv 309, for Feb. 1751 (published at the end of the month), commented that 'This excellent little piece is so much read, and so much admired by every body, that to say more of it would be superfluous'. John Hill, in the first of his series of contributions to the Daily Advertiser entitled 'The Inspector' on 5 March 1751 praised the Elegy enthusiastically, asserting that it 'comes nearer the manner of Milton than any thing that has been published since the time of that poet' and comparing it favourably with Lycidas. In 'The Inspector' No. 4 he printed a complimentary poem to the author of the Elegy by 'Musaphil'. The 4th quarto edn of G.'s poem had been published by 7 April and there was a 5th before the end of 1751. By 1763 twelve edns based on Dodsley's quarto had appeared. Inevitably the literary periodicals felt free to publish so celebrated a poem and, apart from the Magazine of Magazines, it had appeared in the London Mag., the True Briton and the Scots Mag. by April 1751. M. Rothkrug, in the article mentioned above, pointed out that the Elegy also appeared in Poems on Moral and Divine Subjects, by Several Celebrated English Poets (Glasgow, 1751); and confirmed that, as had been suspected but not established, it had been published in the Grand Magazine of Magazines in April 1751. Apart from these two publications, the frequent appearances of the Elegy in G.'s lifetime are described in detail by F. G. Stokes in his edn of the Elegy (Oxford, 1929). Stokes, Times Lit. Supp. 1937, p. 92, made an addition to his bibliography of the poem when he noted the inclusion of ll. 1-92 in the 4th edn of a volume of Miscellaneous Pieces, apparently published in 1752 by R. Goadby and W. Owen, the publisher of the Magazine of Magazines. See A. Anderson, The Library, 5th series, xx (1965) 144-8, for a refutation ofStokes's argument for the importance of this text, which was probably not printed in fact until late 1753.
In spite of, or perhaps because of, its popularity, G. rarely mentioned the Elegy after its publication. He made a few comments on it in a letter to Christopher Anstey, who published a Latin translation of the poem in 1762 (Corresp ii 748-9) but otherwise tended to be cynical about its celebrity. During a visit to Scotland in 1765, he spoke to Dr John Gregory of the Elegy: 'which he told me, with a good deal of acrimony, owed its popularity entirely to the subject, and that the public would have received it as well if it had been written in prose' (Sir William Forbes, Life of James Beattie (1806) i 83). Mason also believed this to be G.'s opinion, as he recalled in his 'Memoirs of William Whitehead', in Whitehead's Poems iii (1788) 84: 'It spread, at first, on account of the affecting and pensive cast of its subject, just like Hervey's Meditations on the Tombs. Soon after its publication, I remember that, sitting with Mr. Gray in his College apartment, he expressed to me his surprise at the rapidity of its sale. I replied: ''Sunt Lachrymae rerum, mentem mortalia tangunt.'' He paused awhile, and taking his pen, wrote the line on the title of a printed copy of it lying on his table. ''This,'' said he, ''shall be its future motto.'' ''Pity,'' cryed I, ''that Dr. Young's Night Thoughts have preoccupied it.'' ''So,'' replied he, ''indeed, it is.'' He had still more reason to think I had hinted at the true cause of its popularity, when he found how very different a reception his two odes at first met with.'
Yet if G. at times disliked being a popular author, the 'affecting and pensive' Mr Gray, he was not entirely indifferent to the Elegy's success. A marginal note (apparently added to from time to time) in the transcript of the poem in his Commonplace Book lists, with evident satisfaction, the various edns it passed through, as well as the two Latin translations by Lloyd and Anstey. And he can hardly have been unimpressed by the spate of imitations, parodies and translations into other languages which was already in full flow in his own lifetime; see Northup, Bibliography of G. (1917) pp. 123-45, H. W. Starr's continuation (1953) pp. 33-8, and W. P. Jones, 'Imitations of G.'s Elegy, 1751-1800', Bulletin of Bibliography xxiii (1963) 230-2. This aspect of the Elegy's popularity and influence can be illustrated by John Langhorne's remarks, in his review of An Elegy, Written among the Tombs in Westminster Abbey (Monthly Review xxvi (1762) 356-8), on the number of G.'s imitators: 'An Undertaker was never followed by a more numerous or a more ridiculous tribe of mourners, than he has been; nor is the procession yet over, for, behold, here is another Gentleman in black, with the same funereal face, and mournful ditty; with the same cypress in his hand, and affecting sentence in his mouth, viz. that we must all die! Hark! the Dirge begins.' Langhorne's next review was of Edward Jerningham's The Nunnery, an Elegy, in Imitation of the Elegy in a Churchyard."

Literature is held to be subject to critical analysis by the sciences of linguistics but also by a type of linguistics different from that adapted to ordinary discourse, because its laws produce the distinctive features of literariness (Abrams, pp.

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Essays in Criticism | Oxford Academic

"'There has always appeared to me a vicious mixture of the figurative with the real in this admired passage. The first two lines may barely pass, as not bad. But the hands laid in the earth must mean the identical five-fingered organs of the body; and how does this consist with their occupation of swaying rods, unless their owner had been a schoolmaster; or waking lyres, unless he were literally a harper by profession? Hands that ''might have held the plough'' would have some sense, for that work is strictly manual; the others only emblematically or pictorially so. Kings nowadays sway no rods, alias sceptres, except on their coronation day; and poets do not necessarily strum upon the harp or fiddle as poets.' (Charles Lamb in The London Magazine, December 1822.)
But much good poetry would be destroyed by this criticism: e.g. 'Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd, / Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.' (Lycidas, 159.) The body of a dead man ('this identical' four-limbed structure of flesh and bone) cannot be said to 'sleep by' a 'fable', except figuratively. Yet the beauty of the passage depends upon this 'mixture of the figurative with the real'; suggesting, as it does, that the young man whom they all knew is already numbered with the heroes of half-remembered myth."

General_Instructions | Essays in Criticism | Oxford …

"'There has always appeared to me a vicious mixture of the figurative with the real in this admired passage. The first two lines may barely pass, as not bad. But the hands laid in the earth must mean the identical five-fingered organs of the body; and how does this consist with their occupation of swaying rods, unless their owner had been a schoolmaster; or waking lyres, unless he were literally a harper by profession? Hands that ''might have held the plough'' would have some sense, for that work is strictly manual; the others only emblematically or pictorially so. Kings nowadays sway no rods, alias sceptres, except on their coronation day; and poets do not necessarily strum upon the harp or fiddle as poets.' (Charles Lamb in The London Magazine, December 1822.)
But much good poetry would be destroyed by this criticism: e.g. 'Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd, / Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.' (Lycidas, 159.) The body of a dead man ('this identical' four-limbed structure of flesh and bone) cannot be said to 'sleep by' a 'fable', except figuratively. Yet the beauty of the passage depends upon this 'mixture of the figurative with the real'; suggesting, as it does, that the young man whom they all knew is already numbered with the heroes of half-remembered myth."

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