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By Paul Magnuson

Reading Public Romanticism is an important new instance of the linking of esthetics and historic feedback. the following Paul Magnuson locates Romantic poetry inside a public discourse that mixes politics and esthetics, nationalism and domesticity, sexuality and morality, legislations and legitimacy. development on his well-regarded earlier paintings, Magnuson practices a technique of shut historic analyzing through settling on special types of poems, analyzing their rhetoric of allusion and citation within the contexts in their unique booklet, and describing their public genres, comparable to the letter. He reports the author's public signature or motto, the varieties and value of deal with utilized in poems, and the resonances of poetic language and tropes within the public debates.

According to Magnuson, "reading destinations" skill examining the writing that surrounds a poem, the "paratext" or "frame" of the esthetic boundary. of their specific destinations within the public discourse, romantic poems are illocutionary speech acts that take a stand on public matters and legit their authors either as public characters and as writers. He strains the general public value of canonical poems more often than not regarded as lyrics with little specific social or political remark, together with Wordsworth's "Immortality Ode"; Coleridge's "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison," "Frost at Midnight," and "The historic Mariner"; and Keats's "On a Grecian Urn." He additionally positions Byron's commitment to Don Juan within the debates over Southey's laureateship and claims for poetic authority and legitimacy. Reading Public Romanticism is a considerate and revealing work.

Originally released in 1998.

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26 CHAPTER ONE Foucault transfers into the "paradise of ideas," if I may put it this way, the op­ positions and antagonisms which are rooted in the relations between the pro­ ducers and the consumers of cultural works. Obviously, it is not a question of denying the specific determination which the space of possibles exerts, since one of the functions of the notion of the relatively autonomous field, endowed with its own history, is to account for that determination. Nevertheless, it is not possible to treat cultural order, the episteme, as an autonomous and tran­ scendent system.

24 CHAPTER ONE tions between those fields, between domesticity and public policy, between esthetics and morality, between economics and sexuality. A statement in the public discourse is significant only if it is precisely lo­ cated. Discursive analysis cannot account for the atomistic and unrespon­ sive utterance, that which is never finally answerable or answered. Foucault defines the statement in a discourse by its connections. The statement "al­ ways belongs to a series or a whole, always plays a role among other state­ ments, deriving support from them and distinguishing itself from them: it is always part of a network of statements, in which it has a role, however minimal it may be, to play" (99).

Thomas Patne (1793) in The Prosecution of Thomas Paine: Seven Tracts, 1793-98, ed. Stephen Parks (New York: Garland, 1974) 118, 111. 18 CHAPTER ONE cance in Romantic literature only when it is explicit or when it appears to be conspicuously absent. Law circumscribed the public debates. What one could say publicly was determined by a series of court decisions, proclamations, and acts of Par­ liament that dealt with the problems of prosecuting treason and seditious libel and determining who was authorized to judge whether a figurative statement constituted a criminal act.

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