Tuesday, November 29

maybe "Identity Borrowing" would've been more apt

today I finished putting together a twenty-page essay for English 5340, which I decided to call "Hannah Wolley and The Gentlewomans Companion: A Case of Seventeenth-century Identity Theft." an excerpt:

"Passages from this particular text have been referenced and re-contextualized again and again, far more than any other work by this prolific female writer. But if a close study of the text and its contexts reveals that she is indeed not responsible for the text of The Gentlewomans Companion, then who is? Is our modern habit of ascribing the majority of textual authority to an author or even a set of authors adequate when so much shaping of the text can be done by editors, agents, publishers, printers, marketing departments? So many contextual factors influence the final form and meaning of a text, but it seems many of these realities are often overlooked in favor of more salable points such as authorial reputation, the ethos of well-known names, and pertinent authoritative biographical details. The case of Hannah Wolley and The Gentlewomans Companion sheds light on how valuable the reputation of an author can be to publishers and scholars alike."

and to accompany this string of scholarly inquiries, a few quotes from class tonight:

Dr. Hawkins on the guilt-inducing effects of studying Bibliography as thoroughly as we have done: "You'll find yourself being warped by this class."

Dr. Snead, referring to one possible outcome of a class on Jane Austen jointly-taught by four literature professors with different period focuses: "Or they'll see that historical periodization is an invention of the Institution. It's useless!"

tuesday evenings are the coolest.

2 comments:

Janeheiress said...

As time goes by, I find myself more and more frustrated that blog posts don't have a "like" button. I know that's incredibly lazy of me, but sometimes you just want to express that you read and appreciated something without boring the author with your inane comments. Great post!

amelia c said...

oh, i love comments. they are never boring. thanks!