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Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell$
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Christopher D'Addario and Matthew Augustine

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526113894

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526113894.001.0001

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‘Small portals’: Marvell’s Horatian Ode, print culture, and literary history

‘Small portals’: Marvell’s Horatian Ode, print culture, and literary history

(p.33) 2 ‘Small portals’: Marvell’s Horatian Ode, print culture, and literary history
Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell

Joad Raymond

Manchester University Press

In recent decades, literary critics have explored the arena of early modern print culture with increasing enthusiasm. Scholars have identified a wealth of allusions to wider print culture in canonical texts, and begun to map a stratum of public language, the language of pamphlets, newspapers and political discourse, with which literature traffics, picks up and discards in its periods. Sometimes this has been framed in terms of putting literature in a modified version of a Habermasian ‘public sphere’. Less attention has been paid to the – surely necessary and complementary – processes of ‘separation’ and ‘transformation’, if those are the right words. We know that literary texts borrow, appropriate, refashion these other texts, and we know that literary texts sometimes seek to rise above the fray by professing a disdain for the demotic, but how do these texts manage practically to maintain a distance while absorbing? Focusing on Marvell’s great Horatian Ode, the present chapter seeks to illuminate the interconnections between the languages of literature, political argument and journalism. In so doing, it begins to give a new account of the separation between print culture and literary writing, of the valves that govern the movement of words and their aesthetic potential.

Keywords:   Andrew Marvell, Print culture, Pamphleteering, Literary aesthetics

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