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The poetics of poesis : the making of nineteenth-century English fiction

Author: Felicia Bonaparte
Publisher: Charlottesville ; London : University of Virginia Press, 2015.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Examining novels written in nineteenth-century England and throughout most of the West, as well as philosophical essays on the conception of fictional form, Felicia Bonaparte sees the novel in this period not as the continuation of eighteenth-century "realism," as has commonly been assumed, but as a genre unto itself. Determined to address the crises in religion and philosophy that had shattered the foundations by  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Felicia Bonaparte
ISBN: 9780813937328 0813937329
OCLC Number: 905599944
Description: xi, 322 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction: The language of nineteenth-century fiction --
Part I: "Chaos is come again" --
The crisis in religion --
The crisis of empiricism --
The crisis in reason --
Part II: "Something we must believe in and do" --
Images of dissolution --
The need to reconceive the world --
The quest for a new religion --
Part III: The making of a new poetic --
Imagination and the ideal --
Art as poesis --
The idealistic in the real --
Part IV: "The inexpressible must be expressed" --
The making of the novel --
The making of the language of symbols --
The symbolic language of myth --
Conclusion: The end of poesis.
Responsibility: Felicia Bonaparte.

Abstract:

Examining novels written in nineteenth-century England and throughout most of the West, as well as philosophical essays on the conception of fictional form, Felicia Bonaparte sees the novel in this period not as the continuation of eighteenth-century "realism," as has commonly been assumed, but as a genre unto itself. Determined to address the crises in religion and philosophy that had shattered the foundations by which the past had been sustained, novelists of the nineteenth century felt they had no real alternative but to make the world anew. Finding in the new ideas of the early German Romantics a theory precisely designed for the remaking of the world, these novelists accepted Friedrich Schlegel's challenge to create a form that would render such a remaking possible. They spoke of their theory as poesis, etymologically "a making," to distinguish it from the mimesis associated with "realism." Its purpose, however, was not only to embody, as George Eliot put it in Middlemarch, "the idealistic in the real," giving as faithful an account of the real as observation can yield, but also to embody in that conception of the real a discussion of ideas that are its "symbolic signification," as Edward Bulwer-Lytton described it in one of his essays. It was to carry this double meaning that the nineteenth-century novelist created, Bonaparte concludes, the language of mythical symbolism that came to be the norm for this form, and she argues that it is in this doubled language that nineteenth-century fiction must be read.--Publisher website.

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"Clearly the result of many years of reading, thinking, teaching, and writing about this immense body of material, The Poetics of Poesis is quite extraordinary. Brilliantly original and strikingly Read more...

 
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