Item Details

Aesthetics, Politics, and Aggressive Forms: Structures of Progress and Restoration in Eighteenth-Century Narrative Britain

Swenson, Rivka
Format
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Author
Swenson, Rivka
Advisor
Halliday, Paul
O'Brien, John
Wall, Cynthia
Hunter, J
Abstract
Aesthetics, Politics, and Aggressive Forms: Structures of Progress and Restoration in Eighteenth-Century Narrative Britain argues that the incorporating 1707 Act of Union of Great Britain gave new ideological energy to formal, generic, iconic, and grammatical oppositions between "progress" and "restoration," "unity" and "fragmentation." Ephemeral print culture during the long eighteenth century foregrounds the shifting relationship between these two sets of submerged but shaping categories that correlates with aesthetic innovation in prose narratives. Majority attempts to unify the nation around a primarily English, Protestant, Whig set of priorities-as well as efforts to promote Scottish, Catholic, Tory, or Jacobite interests-are inscribed within novels, travel narratives, and national histories by Daniel Defoe, Jane Barker, Tobias Smollett, Samuel Johnson, Hemy Fielding, and Susan Ferrier that exploit a perceived correlation between political structures and narrative ones. This project brings into focus anxieties about gender, monstrosity, colonialism, diaspora, religious difference, and the domestic and transatlantic "margins" of empire that are attached unevenly to the national project. IT maps competing versions of Britishness and narrative aesthetics, thus disclosing the categorical confusion negotiated by their "aggressive forms." Recognizing the global and European contexts of British cultural nationalisms, it retrains our focus onto the under explored indigenous spaces-geographical and textual-in which versions of "Britishness" are contested; it widens our frame of reference within Britain's geographic borders by breaking up patterns of generic insularity that impede the ability to trace migrations and transformations among texts, contexts, forms, and gemes. Identifying a porous exchange between political contexts, archival material, and prose narratives, this project traces a confluence between political and narrative structures that is at the center of aesthetic innovation in Britain during the long eighteenth century. Ultimately, the project seeks to reshape the way we read long-eighteenth-century prose narratives across genres.
Language
English
Date Received
20151015
Published
University of Virginia, Department of Philosophy, PHD (Doctor of Philosophy), 2008
Published Date
2008-01-01
Degree
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Notes
Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015. Thesis originally deposited on 2015-10-15 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:38:10.
Collection
Libra ETD Repository
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