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Putting Context to New Use in Literary Studies: A Conceptual-Historicist Interpretation of Poe's 'Man of the Crowd'
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
2017 (English)In: Partial Answers, ISSN 1565-3668, E-ISSN 1936-9247, Vol. 15, no 2, 241-261 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Poe’s adherence to a strict aesthetic formalism used to be problematic for studies of the relationship between his work and its American context; the methodology of New Historicism has helped to surmount this problem but sometimes with excessive emphasis on socio-historical contexts. This essay examines critical practices at work in the interpretation of Poe’s canonical piece “The Man of the Crowd” in light of the recent debates in literary studies around the problem of context and contextualization in general and the “hegemony” of new historicism in particular. It then suggests an alternative method of reading literary texts and their contexts — one based on Reinhart Koselleck’s history of concepts. It offers an analysis of “The Man of the Crowd” as an illustration of this method.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 15, no 2, 241-261 p.
Keyword [en]
antebellum American literature, literary history, conceptual history, privacy, E. A. Poe, Reinhart Koselleck, context, new historicism, new formalism
National Category
General Literature Studies Specific Literatures History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22540ISI: 000403032600003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85020302154OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-22540DiVA: diva2:1015086
Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04 Last updated: 2017-06-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Language
  • sv-SE
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  • Other locale
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  • asciidoc
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