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Jan. 10, 2007


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Laura L. Runge
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    LIT 6236
    18th Century Novel and Theory

    Spring 2007

    RECEPTION ESSAYS

    Each week a student will submit a formal essay to discuss in class. The paper will be distributed via the discussion board dedicated to that purpose on the course Blackboard website. For additional leads on research resources, see my 18th Century Research Resources list.

    Papers for Theorists

    Essays on the four theorists should evaluate the critical reception of the works assigned, surveying available reviews of the work and presenting the major critical concerns.

    The easiest way to conduct this research is to search for your author in the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL), a database in the collection of Literature Online (LION) available through the USF Library databases. Search by the author’s name and you should receive a number of citations including reviews of his or her work. Your paper search should begin with The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography (ECCB) found in the reference section of the library: Z6204. E35. Perry’s book (2005) will not be covered, because this reference lags behind several years. For her, I have provided some initial citations, but do some digging on your own and cover the major journals, including the yearly survey of works on Restoration and Eighteenth-century studies in the summer edition of Studies in English Literature (SEL); also see English Literary History (ELH), Eighteenth-century Fiction (ECF), Eighteenth-Century Studies (ECS), Journal of English and Germanic Philology (JEGP), Modern Language Notes (MLN), Modern Philology (MP), Restoration (RES), Novel, also South Atlantic Review (SAR).

    The point is to get a general sense of the reception of these works and to evaluate the critical reaction.

    Perry:

      H-Net book Review, published by H-Albion-net.msu.edu (June 2006), by Joanne Bailey

      Scott Mackenzie, ECF 19:1-2 (2006): 229-31.

      Norma Clark, Times Literary Supplement, 17 Jun 2005, p. 24

      Catherine Gallagher, London Review of Books (27:21) 2005, 26-7.

      Also McKeon, Michael, "Recent studies in the Restoration and eighteenth century." SEL (45:3) 2005, 707-82.

      See also Laura Rosenthal’s brief review essay.

    Recommended for all:

      Ian Watt’s “Serious Reflections” Novel 1 (1968);

      Daniel Schwarz “The Importance of Ian Watt’s The Rise of the Novel” Journal of Narrative Technique 13 (Spring 1983) 59-73;

      Robert Folkenflik’s “The Heirs of Ian Watt” ECS 25.2 (Winter 91-2) 203.

      Homer Obed Brown’s “Of the Title to Things Real: Conflicting Stories” ELH 55 (1989) 917-954.

      Various essays in The Cambridge Companion to The Eighteenth Century Novel, ed. John Richetti, but especially the article by J. Paul Hunter.

      The Winter 2000 volume of Eighteenth-Century Novel is devoted to reconsiderations of Watt, and so a perusal of some of these essays will be necessary.

      Laura Runge’s chapter “Paternity and regulation in the feminine novel” in Gender and Language in British Literary Criticism, 1660-1790 (Cambridge UP, 1997) pp. 80-120.

    For essays on the novels:

    These papers will focus on the publication and reception of the novel itself, critically presenting any relevant background that you find particularly useful. Many of these works have interesting and controversial histories, frequently noted in the introductions to the editions we are reading. Provide as much bibliographical information as you can find (original publisher(s), date(s), runs, and popularity; contemporary responses; controversies it gives rise to; sequels, parodies, major changes in later editions, etc.). Offer a sense of the novel’s reception and critical history. There are reference series that will aid you; see in particular the works listed in my 18th Century Resources guide, especially indexes to book reviews, statistical profiles, secondary bibliographies, publishing history and special databases. Some of these works, such as the Critical Heritage for Henry Fielding, will be on Reserve in the USF library. For some of the early works by women, you will have to rely on the most recent scholarship for any information as well as your own search of primary materials using the database Eighteenth-century Collections online. When the class is focused on more than one work, choose one and offer a summary of the major points of significance.


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