Papers on Language & Literature

Literary history, theory, and interpretation.

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 2, Spring

"A Greater Gust": Generating the Body in Absalom and Achitophel
When my study of the "normative basis" of Absalom and Achitophel first appeared, it challenged the prevailing interpretation of the poem by arguing that Aristotelian hylomorphism provides a basis for structuring references to the begetting of sons,...
Richard Steele and the Genealogy of Sentimental Drama: A Reading of the Conscious Lovers
Although The Conscious Lovers dutifully finds its way into anthologies of eighteenth-century drama as an example of sentimental comedy in its early days, few modern readers would argue that Steele's last dramatic composition is a living classic. Current...
"The Greatest Victorian" in the New Century: The Enduring Relevance of Walter Bagehot's Commentary on Literature, Scholarship, and Public Life
In 1937, one year after he published his landmark study, Victorian England: Portrait of an Age, George M. Young contributed a pair of essays to the Spectator in which he identifies Walter Bagehot as "The Greatest Victorian" from a list that included...
Twin Stars: The Anxiety of Sibling Rivalry between Literary Titans
Aristotle's Poetics contains a sentence that stands out for its simplicity and evocativeness: "Sophocles said that he himself created characters such as should exist, whereas Euripides created ones such as actually do exist" (47). Its meaning appears...