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Dead from the waist down : scholars and scholarship in literature and the popular imagination

Author: A D Nuttall
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, ©2003.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"In this book, a renowned literary critic explores the various ways we have thought about scholars and scholarship through the ages. Why is it, Nuttall asks, that in the nineteenth century the life of the mind becomes equated with a kind of death in life?" "A. D. Nuttall focuses on three people, two real and one fictitious: the classical scholar Isaac Casaubon, who lived from 1559 to 1614; Mark Pattison, rector of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Biographies
Named Person: Isaac Casaubon; Robert Browning; George Eliot; George Eliot; Mark Pattison; Isaac Casaubon; Mark Pattison; Robert Browning; George Eliot; Isaac Casaubon; George Eliot; Mark Pattison
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: A D Nuttall
ISBN: 0300098405 9780300098402
OCLC Number: 52165801
Description: xii, 228 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Introduction : desiccation and descent--Browning's confusion --
Mr. Casaubon in Middlemarch --
Mark Pattison --
Isaac Casaubon : the real thing --
Conclusion : the other sexuality and the morality of scholarship.
Responsibility: A.D. Nuttall.
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Abstract:

"In this book, a renowned literary critic explores the various ways we have thought about scholars and scholarship through the ages. Why is it, Nuttall asks, that in the nineteenth century the life of the mind becomes equated with a kind of death in life?" "A. D. Nuttall focuses on three people, two real and one fictitious: the classical scholar Isaac Casaubon, who lived from 1559 to 1614; Mark Pattison, rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, in the nineteenth century; and Mr. Casaubon in George Eliot's Middlemarch. The three are intricately related, for Pattison was seen by many as the model for Eliot's Mr. Casaubon, and he was also the author of what is still the best book on Isaac Casaubon." "Nuttall provides a provocative interpretation of Middlemarch, arguing that it contains an anti-feminist thesis ("This is a young woman with highfalutin ideas who really needs some strong sex from a man to straighten her out.") coexisting with a feminist thesis ("The life of the mind, unsuccessfully essayed by Mr. Casaubon, is tragically withheld from his wife, Dorothea."). He shows that at nearly the same time Middlemarch was being written, Mark Pattison was recording in his Memoirs his own introverted intellectual life and self-lacerating depression. Pattison's book on Isaac Casaubon leads Nuttall back to this earlier figure, a great and fulfilled scholar who personifies the ideal of detailed, unspectacular truthtelling, an ideal often imperiled in our own culture, remarks Nuttall. He ends the book with a meditation on morality, sexuality, and the virtues of scholarship."--Jacket.

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