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Making the English Canon
Print-Capitalism and the Cultural Past, 1700–1770

$49.99 (C)

  • Date Published: June 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521065924

$ 49.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Jonathan Brody Kramnick's book examines the formation of the English canon over the first two-thirds of the eighteenth century. Kramnick details how the idea of literary tradition emerged out of a prolonged engagement with the institutions of cultural modernity, from the public sphere and national identity to capitalism and the print market. Looking at a wide variety of eighteenth-century critical writing, he analyzes the tensions that inhabited the categories of national literature and public culture at the moment of their emergence.

    • Gives a historical grounding to modern theoretical debates about the formation of the canon, relating it to equally current topics of nationalism, the public sphere, enlightenment and modernity
    • Based on detailed primary research in periodical essays, editions, treatises, reviews, disquisitions, pamphlets and poems
    • Contributes directly to controversial debates on the politics and history of the canon, and the future of English in a culture of downsizing
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Making the English Canon is not simply a monograph on eighteenth-century literary aesthetics, it is a singularly powerful and authoritative contribution to perhaps the most important discussion going on in the literary humanities today." Terry Castle, Stanford University

    "The scope of this impressive first book is narrower than its title suggests...It accomplishes much, primarily by paying intelligent attention to a relatively neglected and pivotal twenty-year period in English criticism and by enganging important questions thoughtfully. Kramnick has begun to map some significant critical networks and fault lines in the eighteenth century. He does so with a combination of theoretical sophistication and investment that bodes well for his further explorations." Journal of English and Germanic Philology

    "Kramnick's book addresses worthwhile questions and challenging problems...The footnote citations constitute an extraordinarily rich and immensely convenient compendium of recent secondary materials." The Age of Johnson: A Scholarly Annual

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521065924
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the modernity of the past
    Part I:
    1. The structural transformation of literary history
    2. The mode of consecration: between aesthetics and historicism. Part II:
    3. Novel to Lyric: Shakespeare in the field of culture, 1752–1754
    4. The cultural logic of late feudalism: or, Spenser and the romance of scholarship, 1754–1762
    Part III. 5. Shakespeare's nation: the literary profession and the 'shades of ages'
    Afterword: the present crisis.

  • Author

    Jonathan Brody Kramnick, Rutgers University, New Jersey

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