Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Down in the dark...

There will be two short posts from me today.  Yesterday I got through three books--still have to type up the notes.  A migraine hit around 4 yesterday and had me in the bedroom with the blinds closed and wet towel on my head (how very Victorian of me!) I tried for natural solutions: lots of water, took the dog for a walk (it's nearly 50 degrees here!), and eating a healthy meal, but the real solution was watching Tootsie (1982/Dustin Hoffman) with my grandmother last night.  No one cackles like she does!  She really is the best roommate in the world (sorry Andi & Nada!).

So, as per academic-type-stuff:
Laurence Kitzan's Victorian Writers and the Image of Empire: The Rose Colored Vision (2001).  Fascinating stuff! Just wish it was a bit more recent as this falls into the category of postcolonial studies from ten years back (or more).  But he points out how travel and adventure literature set out to construct a hopeful new understanding of empire, building on the idea of Kipling's "the white man's burden" and how Britain's used such fictions and travel narratives to filter the imperial process through the aforementioned "rose-colored glasses."

Antoinette Burton's Politics and Empire in Victorian Britain (a Reader) (2001). I thought it would be a work of criticism (as per the title, all I went on during my massive online search of the UPenn's library) It's a collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century speeches/lectures/essay on issues involving the British empire: slavery, race, imperialism, women's suffrage, Chartism, etc.  What's most relevant to me is the inclusion of Daniel O'Connell's "Speech at Mullinger" (1843).  This is the moment in time Thackeray published Irish Sketchbook and wrote Barry Lyndon.  He even mentions O'Connell's monster meetings in Ireland, rather dismissively.  But O'Connell brought together thousands to speak against the Act of Union and forced taxes to the Church of England/Protestant Church (when so many of them were Catholic!) and instigated a nation! Also, the book includes John Stuart Mill's "The Negro Question" (1950) which might be useful to Chapter Five which considers slavery.

Dinah Birch and Mark Llewellyn's Conflict and Difference in the Nineteenth Century (2010) certainly has the right publication date, but was mostly a bust for my purposes.  It's an interesting collection of essays but sharp critics, ranging on topics from the American Indian to Dickens and the culture of commodity, but barely touches on my focus.  I'll pull a few apt points about representations of conflict in nineteenth-century lit from the introduction.

So on to typing up my notes--would be a boring enterprise but I have the Ella Fitzgerald station on Pandora and the kitchen is bright and cheerful--and starting Rancière's The Politics of Literature, as recommended by my brilliant friend Eve.  Good day my friends!

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