Fault Lines and Controversies in the Study of Seventeenth-Century English Literature

By Claude J. Summers; Ted-Larry Pebworth | Go to book overview

Dan Jaeckle


Marvell's “Mower against Gardens”

Reconsidering Bakhtinian Dialogism

One fault line in current seventeenth-century literary studies separates two kinds of ideological readings. The first type assumes that every work is politically committed and seeks to expose that commitment through analysis. The second type views literature more as a reflection or refraction of society than as a direct participant in its ideological struggles. It assesses the picture of society that the work presents by examining the style by means of which that picture is fashioned. The result of the recent focus on literature as overtly polemical has been healthy to the extent that the field has become more fully aware of the ways in which many works traditionally considered literary resemble other works previously classed as nonliterary. This refiguring of the ideas of canon and context has provided scholars with a more complete and coherent picture of seventeenth-century British society. 1. However, such readings come with a cost. Not all literary works seek primarily to participate in the ideological wars of their day. For those that attempt instead to reflect ideological contests by organizing them in and through their styles, strategies of reading that attend to the refractive angles of style are needed.

One helpful approach is that which Mikhail Bakhtin develops in his essay “Discourse in the Novel.” As is by now well known, for Bakhtin the key feature of what he calls dialogic literature is its ability to refract the complex interaction among ideologies within the society of the author. When the dialo-

____________________
1.
Historical and political criticism of Marvell's work dominated the 1990s, inaugurated by Conal Condren and A. D. Cousins, eds., The Political Identity of Andrew Marvell (Aldershot, England: Scolar Press, 1990); and concluded by Warren Chernaik and Martin Dzelzainis, eds., Marvell and Liberty (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999). Both collections generously treat his Restoration prose and satiric poetry, although the essays vary widely in their approaches to historical contextualization, especially in the latter collection.

-62-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Fault Lines and Controversies in the Study of Seventeenth-Century English Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 236

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.