Poe and the New Order of Free Enterprise Capitalism.: An Illustration of the Uses of Reinhart Koselleck’s Begriffsgeschichte for Literary Studies
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
In her influential review of the “new formalist” movement, Marjorie Levinson grounds her discussion on the polemic of resurgent formalist views and theories with materialist approaches to literary history and interpretation represented by the well-established, institutionalized, school of new historicism. The most frequent problem invoked by representatives of the formalist “countercurrent” in literary studies today is the tendency of reducing literary texts to “a simple-minded mimesis” of their cultural and historical contexts, which has come to replace “the dynamic formalism that characterized early new historicism”. By recourse to Reinhart Koselleck’s notion of historical structure (which he discusses in connection with the practice of conceptual history), I propose an analysis of Poe’s narrative response to and representation of the new order of free enterprise capitalism, a period of huge transformations in antebellum America, brought forth by the rapid transition from an agrarian society to a market economy dominated by industrial capitalism. With this new historicist exercise informed by Koselleck’s philosophy of history, I hope to get a closer look at the elusive mechanisms of the dialectical relation between work and world, literature and history - a central issue for many of those writing against the new historicist “current”.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Languages and Literature
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-18528OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-18528DiVA: diva2:771124
"Currents and Countercurrents", The 23rd Biennial NAAS Conference, May 24-26, 2013, Karlstad.