Nineteenth-Century Prose

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 1-2, Spring-Fall

Annotating Thoreau
Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition, ed. Jeffrey S. Cramer (Yale UP, 2004), 398 pp., $30 cloth. Reading, Thoreau reminds us in Walden, should be a noble activity. Good books "must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written" and "in...
A Reading in Comparative Aesthetics: Arnold as Indian Sage?
Comparative aesthetics is the critical attitude in reading that opens up perceptive spaces by dehegemonizing the dominant tool of reading the text and dehermetizing it with more critical lubrications imported from a variety of literature and theory....
Arnold and the Irish Question: Anticipating Communitarianism
Arnold's work on the Irish Question reveals a coherent view of the self, the community, and the importance of community to individual development that strikingly anticipates modern Communitarian political philosophy. Arnold foreshadows Communitarianism...
"Grape Shot Culture": Charles Bradlaugh's Reply to Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold's memorable attack on political radicalism is central to his larger argument in Culture and Anarchy and has received much attention from critics. However, it is not well known that Charles Bradlaugh, one of the radical demagogues on...
Henry James and "The Critical Arms of Matthew Arnold": "Restoring the Perverted Balance to Truth"
This essay springs from an opportunity to put together a selection of Arnold's essays in a paper back book suitable for University courses in Victorian literature or the history of literary criticism. The introduction to this volume, Literary Criticism...
Introduction: Arnold's Prose Today
The Introduction to this special issue examines the critical reputation of Matthew Arnold's prose in recent years, pointing out references to Arnold in current discussions and debates about "criticism" and "culture." Although Arnold was ignored or...
James McCune Smith: The Communipaw Connection
The Works of James McCune Smith: Black Intellectual and Abolitionist, ed. John Stauffer, Foreword by Henry Louise Gates Jr. (Oxford UP, 2006), 340 + xlii pages, $40 cloth. Reflecting on the remarkable life of his friend, James McCune Smith, Frederick...
Matthew Arnold on Victorian Theatre
French plays and comedies dominated the British stage throughout the nineteenth century. Reasons for this overwhelming French influence are to be looked for in the economic conditions that framed playwrights as well as in the audience reception. The...
Matthew Arnold's Pregnancy
This essay takes as its starting place the relation between Matthew Arnold's rejection of desire as a fit subject for poetry and a set of references to pregnancy and the pregnant body that support, undermine, and expose the limits of Arnoldian cultural...
Matthew Arnold under Conrad's Eyes: Lord Jim as Literary Criticism
The essay grows out of the author's PhD thesis in which he argues that Joseph Conrad's novels should be read as critiques of major nineteenth-century authors including Carlyle, Dickens, Dostoevsky, and Nietzsche. This essay continues the exploration...
Passionate Reporting: Arnold on Elementary Schools, Teachers, and Children
Matthew Arnold spent thirty-five years inspecting elementary schools and reporting annually about the teachers, the students, and the buildings. His annual reports are not in the Complete Prose Works, but they provide a detailed portrait of Arnold's...
Prematurity, Periodicity, and Agency in "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time"
In this essay I clarify the implications of Arnold's discouragement of artistic creation in "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time." By reading this seminal essay in three surprisingly interrelated contexts--Arnold's attitude toward millenarianism,...
The Advertisement to Dr. Arnold's Fragment on the Church: A Misascription to Matthew Arnold
R.H. Super misascribes "The Advertisement to Dr. Arnold's Fragment on the Church" (1844) to Matthew Arnold. Prefaces and advertisements of the posthumous works of Dr. Arnold are signed "M.A. Fox How," initials and place often associated with Matthew...
The Function of Matthew Arnold's Criticism: Resolution and Independence
Sara van den Berg has argued that object-relations theory provides a tool for analyzing the pre-oedipal content in Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams. She finds in Freud's interpretive strategy "the pre-oedipal mother who models interpretation as...
The Language of Criticism in Arnold's Religious Writings
This article attempts to reconstruct the principles underlying Matthew Arnold's literary criticism through an examination of his writings on Christianity and the Bible. As a number of critics have pointed out, the trilogy of biblical studies Arnold...