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Ruskin's Rage and Ours: The Dramatic Style

  • Mary Ann Caws

Dramatic, even melodramatic, Ruskin's preferred style is often—and deliberately—given over to the passionate; in the middle of a lecture, he will stop to announce that he has found by his side a “violent little fragment of an undelivered lecture” (QA, 157) which he then delivers, subsequently pointing out his return to “cool English” (QA, 160). Such a self-conscious examination and description of his own mood and tone characterizes Ruskin's odd discursive stance, as he is at once involved and distant, choosing his drama in his written text, and then orally exposing it.

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Fellows, Jay. The Failing Distance: The Autobiographical Impulse in John Ruskin. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1975.
Proust, Marcel. Remembrance of Things Past. 3 vols. Trans. Scott-Moncrieff, C. K. and Kilmartin, Terence. New York: Vintage, 1982.
Ruskin, John. The Works of John Ruskin. Ed. Cook, E. T. and Wedderburn, Alexander, 39 vols. London: Allen 19031912. The definitive edition, but listed below are the works consulted for this essay in particular.
The Crown of Wild Olive and the Cestus of Aglaia. London: Dent, 1908 (CO)
Fors Clavigera (see Works). (FC) The Genius of John Ruskin, selection, ed. Rosenberg, John. New York: Routledge, 1979. (GJR)
The Letters of John Ruskin to Charles Eliot Norton. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1904. (LN)
The Political Economy of Art, and Unto this Last, ed. Bryson, John. London: Dent, 1968. (PEA)
Praeterita. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1949. (P)
The Queen of the Air: being a Study of the Greek Myths of Cloud and Storm. Orpington: Allen, 1883. (QA)
Ruskin Today, ed. Clark, Kenneth. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1964. (RT)
Sesame and Lilies, the Two Paths, and the King of the Golden River. London: Dent, 1907 (SL)
The Seven Lamps of Architecture. New York: Farrar Straus, 1977 (SLA)
Unto this Last, and other Writings. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985.
The Winnington Letters, ed. Burd, Van Akin. Cambridge: Harvard U, Belknap edition, 1969. (WL)
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Victorian Literature and Culture
  • ISSN: 1060-1503
  • EISSN: 1470-1553
  • URL: /core/journals/victorian-literature-and-culture
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