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Marilyn Butler Book of Condolences

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Dennis Low has posted a "Book of Condolences" on the recent passing of Marilyn Butler. Low, a former student of Butler's, is inviting folks to post their own remembrances and condolences on the site. He has also collected all the comments folks have made on the NASSR listserv since her passing.

The site is available here:

The Charles Lamb Bulletin Online

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The back catalogue of the Charles Lamb Bulletin (from our first issue in 1973 to issue 143 in July 2008) is now available online at our website:

This is a fantastic new resource available to Elians around the world, allowing free access to a range of distinguished scholarship on the Lambs and their circle.

Issues printed in the last five years, however, have not been made available online to encourage continued subscription to our Society. Please explore our new website devoted to Charles and Mary Lamb.

New issue of 'RaVoN'

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Issue #61 of 'Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net' is now available on the Érudit server.

Guest-edited by Tim Fulford, it is a special issue entitled ‘Coleridge and his Circle: New Perspectives‘. You can find it at:

845 articles and reviews have now been published in RaVoN since its first issue appeared in February 1996.

Table of Contents:

- Tim Fulford, ‘Coleridge and his Circle: New Perspectives’

- Anya Taylor, ‘Catherine the Great: Coleridge, Byron, and Erotic Politics on the Eastern Front’
- Alan Bewell, ‘Coleridge and Communication’
- Julia S. Carlson, ‘Measuring Distance, Pointing Address: The Textual Geography of the “Poem to Coleridge” and “To W. Wordsworth”‘
- Alan Vardy, ‘Coleridge on Broad Stand’
- Tim Fulford, Coleridge’s Visions of 1816: the Political Unconscious and the Poetic Fragment
- Matthew Sangster, ‘“You have not advertised out of it”: Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Francis Jeffrey on Authorship, Networks and Personalities’
- Tom Duggett, ‘Southey’s “New System”: the monitorial controversy and the making of the “entire man of letters”’
- Nicholas Halmi, ‘Coleridge’s Ecumenical Spinoza’

- Talia Schaffer, 'Leah Price. How To Do Things With Books in Victorian Britain'
- Daniel A. Novak, 'Linda M. Shires. Perspectives: Modes of Viewing and Knowing in Nineteenth-Century England'
- Andrew Thompson, 'John Rignall. George Eliot, European Novelist'
- David Kornhaber, 'David Kurnick. Empty Houses: Theatrical Failure and the Novel'
- Jason Camlot, 'James Walter Caufield. Overcoming Matthew Arnold: Ethics in Culture and Criticism'
- Jennifer Green-Lewis, 'Stephanie Spencer. Francis Bedford, Landscape Photography and Nineteenth-Century British Culture: The Artist as Entrepreneur'
- Heather Laird, 'Sara L. Maurer. The Dispossessed State: Narratives of Ownership in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Ireland'
- Maria Frawley, 'Louise Penner. Victorian Medicine and Social Reform: Florence Nightingale among the Novelists'
- Jenny Bourne Taylor, 'Elsie B. Michie. The Vulgar Question of Money: Heiresses, Materialism, and the Novel of Manners from Jane Austen to Henry James'
- Dehn Gilmore, 'Richard Nemesvari. Thomas Hardy, Sensationalism, and the Melodramatic Mode'
- Matthew Potolsky, 'Richard Dellamora. Radclyffe Hall: A Life in Writing'
- Marie-Luise Kohlke, 'Abigail Burnham Bloom and Mary Sanders Pollock (eds.). Victorian Literature and Film Adaptation'
- Shannon Sears, 'Vanessa L. Ryan. Thinking Without Thinking in the Victorian Novel'

A new website for the Friends of Coleridge

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The Friends of Coleridge, an open society dedicated to the appreciation of the poet, have recently launched a new website that offers a number of useful resources.

They've provided a collection of graphic and written portraits by his contemporaries, an edited and contextualized selection of his poetry, a timeline of the major events in his life, and a guide to corrections to the Princeton Poetical Works series, among others.

In addition, the site offers information about the Friends, their semi-annual publication The Coleridge Bulletin, and their other Coleridge-oriented programs of interest to both scholars and enthusiasts.

Update to the William Blake Archive

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The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of electronic editions of America a Prophecy copies B and I. Ten of the fourteen extant copies of America were printed in 1793, the date on its title plate. Copy I, now in the Huntington Library and Art Gallery, is from this printing. The eighteen plates of copy I, like those of the other 1793 copies but unlike those of the later copies, were printed on two sides of the leaves, except for the frontispiece and title page (plates 1 and 2), and left uncolored. The plates were printed in greenish-black ink; five lines at the end of the text on plate 4 were masked and did not print, and plate 13 is in its first state. Copy B was printed in 1795 with copy A in the same brownish black ink on one side of the paper, with plate 13 in its second state. Unlike copy A, however, it is uncolored except for gray wash on the title plate. Now in the Morgan Library and Museum, copy B has a very curious history. Its plates 4 and 9, which were long assumed to be original, are in fact lithographic facsimiles from the mid 1870s produced to complete the copy. For a full technical description and history of this copy, see Joseph Viscomi, “Two Fake Blakes Revisited; One Dew-Smith Revealed.” Blake in Our Time: Essays in Honour of G. E. Bentley, Jr. Ed. Karen Mulhallen. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010. 35-78. Copies B and I join six other copies in the Archive, copies E and F (1793), A (1795), M (c. 1807), and O (1821), which altogether represent the full printing history of this illuminated book.

America a Prophecy was the first of Blake's "Continental Prophecies," followed by Europe a Prophecy in 1794, executed in the same style and size but usually colored, and, in 1795, "Africa" and "Asia," two sections making up The Song of Los. Fine and important examples of all three books are in the Archive. Like all the illuminated books in the Archive, the text and images of America copies B and I are fully searchable and are supported by the Archive's Compare feature. New protocols for transcription, which produce improved accuracy and fuller documentation in editors' notes, have been applied to copies B and I and to all the America texts previously published.

With the publication of these two copies, the Archive now contains fully searchable and scalable electronic editions of 85 copies of Blake's nineteen illuminated books in the context of full bibliographic information about each work, careful diplomatic transcriptions of all texts, detailed descriptions of all images, and extensive bibliographies. In addition to illuminated books, the Archive contains many important manuscripts and series of engravings, color printed drawings, tempera paintings, and water color drawings.

Due to recent security concerns related to Java browser plugins, the Archive has disabled its Java-based ImageSizer and Virtual Lightbox applications. Users can still view 100 and 300 dpi JPEG images as well as complete transcriptions for all works in the Archive including America copies B and I. Text searching is also still available for all works in the Archive, and image searching remains available for all works except those in preview mode. In the coming months the Archive will implement redesigned pages that restore the features of ImageSizer and the Virtual Lightbox without the use of Java.

As always, the William Blake Archive is a free site, imposing no access restrictions and charging no subscription fees. The site is made possible by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the University of Rochester, the continuing support of the Library of Congress, and the cooperation of the international array of libraries and museums that have generously given us permission to reproduce works from their collections in the Archive.

Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors

Ashley Reed, project manager, William Shaw, technical editor

The William Blake Archive

Short-Term Research Fellowships at NYPL

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via Elizabeth Denlinger, curator of  The Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle at the NYPL:

The New York Public Library is delighted to announce the availability of up to ten fellowships to support visiting scholars pursuing research in the Library’s Dorot Jewish Division; Manuscripts and Archives Division; Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs; or Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.  Fellowships will range from $2,500 to $3,000.

Scholars from outside the New York metropolitan area engaged in graduate-level, post-doctoral, or independent research are invited to apply.

Applications must demonstrate how The New York Public Library’s collections are essential to the research proposed, and successful applicants are expected to contribute a report on their findings, suitable for posting to the Library’s website, at the conclusion of their research.

Applicants who are neither United States citizens nor entitled to work in the U.S. will be responsible for arranging their own visas. Fellowships will be handled as reimbursements when this is required due to the awardee’s visa status.

Applications must be received by April 1, 2010, and should include:
Cover letter
Curriculum vitae
Outline of proposed research and indication of Library holdings to be used
(not more than 1,000 words)
Outline budget for travel and per diem expenses
Proposed dates to be spent in residence
One letter of recommendation

Application materials, including letters of recommendation, may be submitted by e-mail in PDF format (the preferred submission method) to jbaumann [at]

Awards will be announced April 30.

The official site (with all the above info and more) is here:

Also, look here for more info on the Pforzheimer.


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James Heffernan alerted us to New Books on Literature 19, a new book review site he's editing:

Launching on September 1, 2009, is an Online Review of Books on English and American Literature of the Nineteenth Century.  Sponsored by Dartmouth College and edited by James Heffernan with technical help from Thomas Luxon  and editorial advice from thirty-three specialists in nineteenth-century literature,  this site aims to revolutionize academic reviewing by assessing new books within ninety days of their publication, by inviting authors to respond to each review within thirty days of its submission,  and by inviting comments from visitors to the site.  Taking advantage of web resources, its reviews will include pictures from the books it reviews and links to relevant material on other sites.  With reviewers ranging from graduate students to chaired professors and emeriti,  this site has commissioned  just over one hundred reviews of books published in 2009, is already posting more than twenty of them, and aims to have the rest up by next April.  Meanwhile, its Books Announced list for 2009 briefly describes all the  books it will review.

"Belle Dame" Revisited

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A new stop-motion animation film based on a story by Neil Gaiman offers a slightly more than passing allusion to Keats' "La Belle Dame Sans Merci." Directed by Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas), Coraline follows a young girl neglected and ignored by her parents into a parallel world (discovered through a small door in the old mansion into which they've recently moved) that contains a set of "other" parents, led by the mother, who have mastered the art of wish-fulfillment. The only difference between the real world and the alternate one: the characters in the latter have buttons sewn over their eyes, marking them as automota of a sort. As the "other mother" begins to ply Coraline with goodies and entertainments, it quickly becomes clear that the former has devious plans for Coraline. And it is not long before the "other mother" gives Coraline an ultimatum: to remain in this happy world, she must abandon her real parents and agree to have buttons sewn over her eyes, like the rest of the characters in the parallel world.

Coraline's immediate rejection of this proposal unmasks the "other mother" as the sinister, manipulative "Belle Dame" she is. The latter name is given the mother by the ghosts of three children she has previously goaded into her world and subsequently locked away for eternity. A sustained meditation of Keats' poem this movie is not. But it does contain an interesting take on the poem's themes of seduction,  economy of exchange (highlighted by the Merci / Mercy pun in the title), the danger of dreams, the abomination of  love, and, most importantly,  the enslavement of the seductress' victims in a state of perpetual, ghostly death-in-life.  Most conspicuously absent, as might be expected, is the theme of sexual seduction in Keats' poem; the abomination of love in the movie is of the motherly kind. Absent the sexual politics (that makes possible an empowered reading of the Belle Dame in Keats' poem), the "other mother" of the movie is thoroughly villainous. What's more, the dominating visual imagery of the film is that of dolls and puppetry, something Keats poem only addresses by analogy.

For reasons entirely other than its debts to Keats, the film has received mostly favorable reviews, and if that's not enough, it is projected in stereoscopic 3D! (But not, unfortunately, at this blogger's theater.)

The Ambient President

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2001: 9/11 (Bush on holiday with dossier that says “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in Mainland USA”)

2003– Iraq (“Stuff happens”)

2005 Hurricane Katrina

2008 Wall Street implodes

Anyone see a pattern here?

Apres moi le deluge needs to be updated to “Simultaneously with moi, le deluge”—no?

Capitalism is reactive. The environmental crisis demands proactive attention (as does everything else on this list...).

The ecological thought—ecologocentric insert

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Hi again.

School starts soon (quarter system). I returned from the retreats. And I'm finishing an essay called “Ecologocentrism: Unworking Animals,” for SubStance.

All feeble excuses for my not yet posting my final thoughts on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

They're about the sheer “thereness” of existence, its density—what “world” subsumes and half erases. And its relation to intimacy.

I've been getting some excellent feedback on my first draft of The Ecological Thought.

The SubStance essay is a study of Solaris, the incredible science fiction story of a psychologist's encounter with a radically other mind.

It claims that just as Derrida argues that logocentrism underlies Western philosophy's attempt to ground meaning in an essential form, I hold that ecologocentrism underpins most environmentalist philosophy, preventing access to the full scope of interconnectedness.

Thinking, even environmentalist thinking, has set up “Nature” as a reified thing in the distance, “over there,” under the sidewalk, on the other side where the grass is always greener, preferably in the mountains, in the wild.  This “Nature” accords with Walter Benjamin's proposition about the aura: it is a function of distance.  Benjamin uses an image from “Nature”—or from the picturesque?  But that is my and his point—to describe the aura: “We define the aura . . . as the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close [the object] may be.  If, while resting on a summer afternoon, you follow with your eyes a mountain range on the horizon or a branch which casts its shadow over you, you experience the aura of those mountains, of that branch.”