Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lecture this coming Monday

Remember to bring your Buckler text on Monday: we are going to work through Ruskin's seminal essay on "The Nature of Gothic." Given that the Gothic has such enduring and widespread appeal, and is so difficult to define precisely and accurately that one hears confident assertions of "what Gothic is" from every quarter, and few of which agree. Ruskin lets us go right back to the source in Gothic architecture, and thus allows you to engage the larger topic of Gothic literature from a sound empirical and historical basis that, you will find, will give you scholarly credibility in future discussions of the concept.

We will also, of course, look more at the master, Charles Dickens, and see how the book expresses the author's inner tension over and self-chastisement because of, his decade-long double life with a wife and with a mistress unkown to the public. Fascinating in this, and in other, regards, is the question of whether the novel shows Dickens possessed of a presentiment of his upcoming early death ....

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