Reading Christopher Smart in the Twenty-first Century: "By Succession of Delight"

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Min Wild, Noel Chevalier
Bucknell University Press, 5 thg 9, 2013 - 274 trang
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Poet, essayist, actor, hymn-writer, wit, magazine editor, transvestite stage performer: Christopher Smart, Georgian don-turned-writer, was all of these. He was, and remains, a mercurial individual, an idiosyncratic yet strangely familiar writer of spiritual heights and material depths. His paradoxical exuberance fascinates scholars of eighteenth-century culture, and this collection of essays, a snapshot of current scholarship from both new and established Smart scholars, offers, among others, literary, theological, dramatic and philosophical perspectives on his writing. Here are new ways of reading familiar Smart works — including the astonishing, devout poem of his incarceration, Jubilate Agno — and unfamiliar ones, such as his translations and writing for children. Unexpected readers of Smart, from Coleridge to a testy anonymous annotator, are examined, and Smart's sacred translations and profane stage presence each find a place. Tom Keymer's re-evaluating afterword finds the quality of “betweenness” in Smart's work: between eras, between genres, between forms, Smart's vitality demands reassessment for each new generation of readers.
Contributors: Karina Williamson, Min Wild, Rosalind Powell, Fraser Easton, Clement Hawes, William E. Levine, Noel Chevalier, Lori A. Branch, Daniel J. Ennis, Chris Mounsey, Debbie Welham, Tom Keymer.

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The editors
Min Wild's monograph Christopher Smartand Satire on Smart's Midwife, was published in 2008, and various articles and reviews of a Smartian bent have followed. Her interest in that eighteenth-century favorite, the literary mode of prosopopoeia, has led her to investigate the personification of words, texts and literary modes themselves. She
lectures in eighteenth-century literature and theory at Plymouth University, UK, and reviews in the Times Literary Supplement and elsewhere.
Noel Chevalier is Associate Professor of English at Luther College, University of Regina, Canada. He has published articles on Jubilate Agno and on Smart’s challenge to “legitimate” playhouses in Mrs. Midnight’sOratory. Although his specialty lies in the eighteenth century, his teaching and research cover a diverse range of topics, from literary responses to the Bible, to the roots of globalization, to literary representations of science and scientists. He has helped create two interdisciplinary programs at Luther: one which addresses literature for students in the sciences, and one which explores the philosophical, political, economic, and cultural contexts of globalization.
Jacket illustration: "Amaryllis sarniensis or Guernsey Amaryllis," from William Curtis, The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-GardenDisplayed, Vol. IX. No. 294. London, 1795.

 

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Introduction
1
Smart on the Page Readings Rereadings and MisReadings
11
The Reader as Critic
13
Chapter 02 Christopher Smart Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Tradition of Learned Wit
27
Christopher Smarts Idea of Writing Well
45
Chapter 04 Christopher Smarts Elocution
63
Smart in the Madhouse Revisiting The Fool for the Sake of Christ
85
Ecstasy in Jubilate Agno
87
The Case for a Postsecular Christopher Smart
143
Smart on the Stage Reviewing Mrs Midnights Oratory and Other Pieces
163
Chapter 09 Christopher Smart Mary Midnight and the Haymarket 1755
165
Christopher Smart and Leicester House
181
Mrs Midnight the Orator and Her Political Provenance
205
Afterword
227
Bibliography
233
Index
245

Smarts Hybridization of Satiric and Devotional Modes in His Translations of the Psalms
105
Smart in Sunday School Reading the Work for Children
123
Newton Newbery and Christopher Smarts New Learning
125
About the Contributors
257
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Min Wild lectures in eighteenth-century literature and theory at Plymouth University, UK. She is the author of Christopher Smart and Satire (Ashgate, 2008).

Noel Chevalier teaches English at Luther College, University of Regina. He has published articles on Jubilate Agno and on Smart’s challenge to “legitimate” playhouses in Mrs. Midnight’s Oratory.

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