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Borders of a Lip
Romanticism, Language, History, Politics
Borders of a Lip
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Jan Plug - Author
Price: $55.00 
Hardcover - 238 pages
Release Date: December 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5929-2
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5929-4

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Price: $27.95 
Paperback - 238 pages
Release Date: 
ISBN10: 0-7914-5930-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5930-0

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Explores the role of language, history, and politics in Romantic literature and thought, from Kant to Yeats.

This book recasts questions about the overlapping boundaries of language, history, and politics that have been at the center of critical and theoretical debates in the study of Romantic literature and thought. While poststructuralism and deconstruction have been accused of privileging language over history, the New Historicism and other historicist and cultural approaches to literature have attempted to restore history's place in the study of literature. Taking its title from a reading of the word Lippe in Kleist's Die Hermannsschlacht, Borders of a Lip is drawn to neither of these poles, but instead to their meeting place or coincidence: the site of a border, a political or national boundary, even the boundary that is the political, the lip that is also the place of language. Through readings of Kant, Wordsworth, Kleist, Mary Shelley, Yeats, and Lyotard, the book examines the convergence of language and history that takes place in their work. Instead of placing language and history in absolute opposition, making the border an unbreachable limit, the book explores how crossing these borders (re)defines the political.

“There is a good deal of labour and intelligence on display in this book. The chapter on Wordsworth … is particularly convincing … and the chapter on Mary Shelley’s The Last Man [is] surely one of the best readings of the text to date … a distinctive and theoretically informed study of European Romanticism.” — University of Toronto Quarterly

"Plug's treatment is distinctive and interesting at every turn. He subsumes a range of reflections on the historicity of Romantic writing in multinational contexts that have been largely unexamined. With discussions of early Wordsworth and of Mary Shelley's lately revived The Last Man, the book should prove essential reading for exponents of the English side of the story. Germanists will learn here how Kleist, in particular, fits into current thinking about Romanticism at large." — A. C. Goodson, author of Verbal Imagination: Coleridge and the Language of Modern Criticism

"Borders of a Lip
addresses an innovative, significant topic in a refreshing manner. Unlike many studies of Romanticism, which tend to focus on one or perhaps two national literatures, the author reads across several national literatures. The book develops an interdisciplinary analysis that moves convincingly among literary, philosophical, historical, and political registers." — Martha B. Helfer, author of The Retreat of Representation: The Concept of Darstellung in German Critical Discourse

Jan Plug is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario, where he also teaches at the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part I. The Sign of History: Kant and Lyotard, Wordsworth

1. "As if" History—Kant, Then and Now

2. Naming History Wordsworth

Part II. Bordering the Political: Kleist

3. Legal Matter: Der zerbrochne Krug

4. Borders, Crossing: Die Hermannsschlacht

Part III. The Debts of History: Shelley and Yeats

5. Crossing Culture: The Last Man

6. A Specular Nation: Yeats's Myth of the Irish

Threats, Responses: An Afterword

Notes

Index



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