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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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A sense of place: historicism, whither wilt?

A sense of place: historicism, whither wilt?

(p.95) 5 A sense of place: historicism, whither wilt?
Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell

Christopher D’Addario

Manchester University Press

In the last decade, the historicism that had become so familiar to us by the turn of the century has increasingly come under challenge, revised, reconsidered and often rejected from a number of different directions. This chapter explores recent innovations in and challenges to understanding the relationship between text and context, including the new formalism, historical phenomenology, and cognitive poetics. Of particular interest here are the innovations and difficulties that can come with attempting an historicism grounded in local affects and perceptions, with examples drawn from Thomas Browne and W. G. Sebald, among others. In the process, D’Addario considers the appeal of alternative literary histories, the difficulties of periodisation, and the legacies of New Historicism. The chapter ends with a gesture to embracing studies that admit their speculative nature, that embrace and accept their historicism as novel re-imaginings of the past.

Keywords:   Place, Periodisation, Thomas Browne, W. G. Sebald, Counterhistory

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