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Aesthetic Materialism : Electricity and American Romanticism

By: Gilmore, Paul.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Palo Alto : Stanford University Press, 2009Description: 1 online resource (404 p.).ISBN: 9780804770972.Subject(s): American literature - 19th century - History and criticism | American literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism | Authors, American - 19th century - Aesthetics | Authors, American -- 19th century -- Aesthetics | Electricity in literature | Electricity in literature | Romanticism - United States | Romanticism -- United States | Telegraph in literature | Telegraph in literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Aesthetic Materialism : Electricity and American RomanticismDDC classification: 810.9/003 | 810.9003 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Title Page; Copyright Page; Dedication; Acknowledgments; Table of Contents; Introduction: The Word "Aesthetic"; CHAPTER ONE - Idealist Aesthetics and the Republican Telegraph; Electric Aether and Associationism; Coleridge's Electricity and Romantic Ideology; Republican Electricity and Idealist Aesthetics; Morse's Republicanism and Idealist Associationism; Morse's Electricity, Spiritual and Material; The Universal Telegraph and the Telegraphic World Body; The Northern Brain of Humanity, or A Common Language of the World; The Useful and the Beautiful; CHAPTER TWO - Aesthetic Electricity
The Electric Chain Wherewith We Are Darkly Bound: ByronPoetry is a Sword of Lightning: Percy Shelley's Romantic Electricity; Nathaniel Hawthorne's Soap-Bubble Anti-Aesthetic; Melted Wires: "Von Blixum's Heroic Experiment" and the Limits of Telegraphic Communion; Vile Falsifying Telegraphs of Me: Melville's 'Pierre' 1; Tinglingness: Melville's 'Pierre' 2; Electric Insight: Melville's 'Pierre' 3; A Citizen of Somewhere Else and a Citizen of the World: Hawthorne and Thoreau; CHAPTER THREE - Frederick Douglass's Electric Words: Aesthetic Politics and the Limits of Identification
Electric Streams and Feeling Right: Stowe and Sentimental AbolitionismOur Ally Lightning: Douglass and Techno-Utopianism; Machinery & Transcendentalism Agree Well: Emersonian Aesthetics and Politics; My Soul's Complaint: Douglass's Aesthetic Turn; The Quivering Flash of Angry Lightning: "The Heroic Slave"; CHAPTER FOUR - Mad Filaments: Walt Whitman's Aesthetic Body Telegraphic; "Always the procreant urge": The Merge of Electric Sex; "As Brides and Bridegrooms": Equality and Difference; "The Drift of It Everything": Linguistic and Corporeal Gaps; "All Diffused": Organic Identity
"Not Express'd in Parlors and Lecture-Rooms": The Auction Block Scenes"The Likes of the Parts of You": The Final Catalogue; Conclusion: Aesthetic Electricity Caged; Notes; Works Cited; Index
Summary: Aesthetic Materialism: Electricity and American Romanticism provides a fresh understanding of American romanticism by examining the use of electrical imagery, science, and technology by writers such as Emerson, Fuller, Whitman, and Melville to re-describe literary aesthetics as a transcendent and material practice mediating among socio-economic structures, human physiology and spirituality, and language itself.
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PS217 | PS217.A35G55 2009 (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=912081 Available EBL912081

Title Page; Copyright Page; Dedication; Acknowledgments; Table of Contents; Introduction: The Word "Aesthetic"; CHAPTER ONE - Idealist Aesthetics and the Republican Telegraph; Electric Aether and Associationism; Coleridge's Electricity and Romantic Ideology; Republican Electricity and Idealist Aesthetics; Morse's Republicanism and Idealist Associationism; Morse's Electricity, Spiritual and Material; The Universal Telegraph and the Telegraphic World Body; The Northern Brain of Humanity, or A Common Language of the World; The Useful and the Beautiful; CHAPTER TWO - Aesthetic Electricity

The Electric Chain Wherewith We Are Darkly Bound: ByronPoetry is a Sword of Lightning: Percy Shelley's Romantic Electricity; Nathaniel Hawthorne's Soap-Bubble Anti-Aesthetic; Melted Wires: "Von Blixum's Heroic Experiment" and the Limits of Telegraphic Communion; Vile Falsifying Telegraphs of Me: Melville's 'Pierre' 1; Tinglingness: Melville's 'Pierre' 2; Electric Insight: Melville's 'Pierre' 3; A Citizen of Somewhere Else and a Citizen of the World: Hawthorne and Thoreau; CHAPTER THREE - Frederick Douglass's Electric Words: Aesthetic Politics and the Limits of Identification

Electric Streams and Feeling Right: Stowe and Sentimental AbolitionismOur Ally Lightning: Douglass and Techno-Utopianism; Machinery & Transcendentalism Agree Well: Emersonian Aesthetics and Politics; My Soul's Complaint: Douglass's Aesthetic Turn; The Quivering Flash of Angry Lightning: "The Heroic Slave"; CHAPTER FOUR - Mad Filaments: Walt Whitman's Aesthetic Body Telegraphic; "Always the procreant urge": The Merge of Electric Sex; "As Brides and Bridegrooms": Equality and Difference; "The Drift of It Everything": Linguistic and Corporeal Gaps; "All Diffused": Organic Identity

"Not Express'd in Parlors and Lecture-Rooms": The Auction Block Scenes"The Likes of the Parts of You": The Final Catalogue; Conclusion: Aesthetic Electricity Caged; Notes; Works Cited; Index

Aesthetic Materialism: Electricity and American Romanticism provides a fresh understanding of American romanticism by examining the use of electrical imagery, science, and technology by writers such as Emerson, Fuller, Whitman, and Melville to re-describe literary aesthetics as a transcendent and material practice mediating among socio-economic structures, human physiology and spirituality, and language itself.

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

In this unusual study, Gilmore (California State Univ., Long Beach) revisits long-held assumptions about literary aesthetics, specifically the position advanced by so-called new critics that criticism should focus on formal features of literary works rather than on aesthetic elements. The author addresses the theoretical limitations of formalism by examining how works by a number of writers, including Percy Bysshe Shelley, Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, and Walt Whitman, used metaphors of aesthetic electricity to illustrate that "electricity was simultaneously and variously conceived of as a material fluid, as a spiritual medium, [and] as a disembodied force [that represented] a relationship between physical vitality and electricity." Although the book is meticulously researched and well argued, it will appeal to a narrower audience than do other studies of aesthetics in American Romanticism. Readers interested in the use of "aesthetic electricity" not only in "the social, material world" but also in "the effects produced by the intersection of the economic, the physiological, and the linguistic" will likely enjoy this book, but others will find it too specialized. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. D. D. Knight SUNY College at Cortland

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Paul Gilmore, Associate Professor of English at California State University, Long Beach, is also the author of The Genuine Article: Race, Mass Culture, and American Literary Manhood (2001).

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