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Cambridge Studies in Romanticism: Romantic Vagrancy: Wordsworth and the Simulation of Freedom Series Number 15 (Hardback)
  • Cambridge Studies in Romanticism: Romantic Vagrancy: Wordsworth and the Simulation of Freedom Series Number 15 (Hardback)
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Cambridge Studies in Romanticism: Romantic Vagrancy: Wordsworth and the Simulation of Freedom Series Number 15 (Hardback)

(author)
£82.00
Hardback 316 Pages / Published: 24/11/1995
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A provocative account of Wordsworth's representation of walking as the exercise of imagination, Romantic Vagrancy traces a recurrent analogy between the poet in search of material and the literally dispossessed vagrants and beggars he encounters. Reading Wordsworth - and Rousseau before him - from the perspective of recent debates about the political and social rights of the homeless, Celeste Langan argues that both literature and vagrancy are surprisingly rich and disturbing images of the 'negative freedom' at the heart of liberalism. Langan shows how the formal structure of the Romantic poem - the improvisational excursion - mirrors its apparent themes, often narratives of impoverishment or abandonment. According to Langan, the encounter between the beggar and the passer-by in Wordsworth's poetry does not simply reveal a social conscience or its lack; it represents the advent of the liberal subject, whose identity is stretched out between origin and destination, caught between economic and political forces and the workings of desire.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521475075
Number of pages: 316
Weight: 640 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'This is an extraordinarily important, exhilarating and brilliant piece of work on Wordsworth, and one of the most interesting pieces of critical inquiry on any subject I have read in some time.' Alan Liu
'This volume is so rich in its range of reference, so varied in the modes of analysis it offers, and so thickly punctuated by the analogies it uses as its method, that it is certain to offer much to any reader interested in the philosophical and historical origins of liberalism, and their place within the formation of poetic subject in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.' British Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies
"Advanced scholars of Romanticism may find this erudite study of some interest." Choice
"This is an extraordinarily important, exhilirating and brilliant piece of work on Wordsworth, and one of the most interesting pieces of critical inquiry on any subject I have read in some time." Alan Liu
"The philosophical integrity Langan achieves-forcing the reader to experience textual vagrancy as pathology, not claiming to escape it herself-is impressive. So is the fecundity of her critique....Celeste Langan's efforts open discussions of great potential, as we continue to engage the meaning of our own mobility." Anne D. Wallace, Nineteenth-Century Literature
"...this study synthesizes an array of materials through an ambitious method that id both detail-minded and far-reaching in scope. The complex critical judgements that result are often dazzling and always thoughtful." Toby Benis, The Wordsworth Circle
"Romantic Vagrancy is well informed by theories of property, value and identity in Kant, Marx, Adorno and Simmel." Timothy Morton, Studies in Romanticism

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