Licensing Entertainment: The Elevation of Novel Reading in Britain, 1684–1750

University of California Press, 10/09/1998 - 325 páginas
Novels have been a respectable component of culture for so long that it is difficult for twentieth-century observers to grasp the unease produced by novel reading in the eighteenth century. William Warner shows how the earliest novels in Britain, published in small-format print media, provoked early instances of the modern anxiety about the effects of new media on consumers.

Warner uncovers a buried and neglected history of the way in which the idea of the novel was shaped in response to a newly vigorous market in popular narratives. In order to rein in the sexy and egotistical novel of amorous intrigue, novelists and critics redefined the novel as morally respectable, largely masculine in authorship, national in character, realistic in its claims, and finally, literary. Warner considers early novelists in their role as entertainers and media workers, and shows how the short, erotic, plot-driven novels written by Behn, Manley, and Haywood came to be absorbed and overwritten by the popular novels of Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding. Considering these novels as entertainment as well as literature, Warner traces a different story—one that redefines the terms within which the British novel is to be understood and replaces the literary history of the rise of the novel with a more inclusive cultural history.

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Passagens conhecidas

Página 246 - IT is a trite but true observation, that examples work more forcibly on the mind than precepts: and if this be just in what is odious and blameable, it is more strongly so in what is amiable and praiseworthy.
Página 5 - But if the power of example is so great, as to take possession of the memory by a kind of violence, and produce effects almost without the intervention of the will, care ought to be taken, that, when the choice is unrestrained, the best examples only should be exhibited ; and that which is likely to operate so strongly, should not be mischievous or uncertain in its effects.
Página 147 - The space of a tactic is the space of the other. Thus it must play on and with a terrain imposed on it and organized by the law of a foreign power.
Página 284 - And for man not to grasp at all which is laudable within his reach, is a dishonour to human nature, and a disobedience to the divine ; for as heaven does nothing in vain, its gift of talents implies an injunction of their use. A friend of mine has obeyed that injunction ; he has relied on himself, and with a genius, as well moral as original (to speak in bold terms), has cast out evil spirits ; has made a convert to virtue of a species of composition, once most its foe.
Página 33 - something more divine in it," this savours more of humanity. We are brought acquainted with the motives and characters of mankind, imbibe our notions of virtue and vice from practical examples, and are taught a knowledge of the world through the airy medium of romance.
Página 15 - It raises the mind by accommodating the images of things to our desires, and, not like history and reason, subjecting the mind to things.
Página 220 - There is a Time of Life in which the Passions will predominate; and Ladies, any more than Men, will not be kept in Ignorance; and if we can properly mingle Instruction with Entertainment, so as to make the latter seemingly the View, while the former is really the End, I imagine it will be doing a good deal.

Acerca do autor (1998)

William B. Warner is Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Chance and the Text of Experience: Freud, Nietzsche, and Shakespeare's "Hamlet" (1986) and coeditor with Deidre Lynch of Cultural Institutions of the Novel (1996).

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