Catalogue


Electric meters : Victorian physiological poetics /
Jason R. Rudy.
imprint
Athens : Ohio University Press, 2009.
description
xiii, 222 p.
ISBN
0821418823, 9780821418826 (hc : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Athens : Ohio University Press, 2009.
isbn
0821418823
9780821418826 (hc : alk. paper)
contents note
Introduction: physiological poetics -- The electric poetess: Robinson, Hemans, and the charge of romanticism -- Tennyson's telegraphic poetics -- Rhythms of spasm: Dobell, Aytoun, and the crisis of form -- Patmore, Hopkins, and the uncertain body of Victorian poetry -- Rapture and the flesh, Swinburne to blind -- Conclusion: spiritual and material poetics: Doten, Barrett Browning, and beyond.
catalogue key
6809262
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-11-01:
Rudy (Univ. of Maryland, College Park) posits that "Mary Robinson, Felicia Hemans, Alfred Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Algernon Swinburne, and Mathilde Blind look at electricity to make sense of poetry's effects on the human body," exhibiting "their overriding concern with physicality." Following a precedent set by Matthew Campbell (Rhythm and Will in Victorian Poetry, CH, Jan'00, 37-2625), Kirstie Blair (Victorian Poetry and the Culture of the Heart, 2006), Yopie Prins (in the essay "Victorian Meters," The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry, ed. by Joseph Bristow, CH, May'01, 38-4894), this anti-intellectual book looks not at ideas but instead at "Britain's poetic engagement with bodily modes of experience." According to Rudy, Robinson compromises physiological literalness by appealing to "thinking minds," Hemans retreats from physicality to the extent that "imaginative feeling ... might supersede bodily sensation," Tennyson "resists the extremes of ... physiological and noncognitive work," and Sydney Dobell emphasizes primarily "effects of rhythm on the physical bodies of readers." Oddly, Rudy considers poets' alleged obsession with the physical body for its own sake politically progressive. He refers to physical science and politics in the period but offers no extensive analysis of primary documents. Summing Up: Optional. Comprehensive research collections. T. Hoagwood Texas A&M University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, August 2009
Choice, November 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Victorian poetry shocks with the physicality of its formal effects, linking the rhythms of the human body to the natural pulsation of the universe. InElectric Meters: Victorian Physiological PoeticsJason R. Rudy connects formal poetic innovations to developments in the electrical and physiological sciences, arguing that the electrical sciences and bodily poetics cannot be separated, and that they came together with special force in the years between the 1830s, which witnessed the invention of the electric telegraph, and the 1870s, when James Clerk Maxwell's electric field theory transformed the study of electrodynamics. Combining formal poetic analysis with cultural history, Rudy traces the development of Victorian physiological poetics from the Romantic poetess tradition through to the works of Alfred Tennyson, the "Spasmodic" poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Algernon Swinburne, among others. He demonstrates how poetic rhythm came increasingly to be understood throughout the nineteenth century as a physiological mechanism, as poets across class, sex, and national boundaries engaged intensely and in a variety of ways with the human body's subtle response to rhythmic patterns. Whether that opportunity for transcendence was interpersonal or spiritual in nature, nineteenthcentury poets looked to electricity as a model for overcoming boundaries, for communicating across the gaps between sound and sense, between emotion and thought, and-perhaps-between individuals in the modern world. Electric Meterswill appeal to those interested in poetry of any period and particularly those interested in nineteenthcentury culture and history.
Main Description
Victorian poetry shocks with the physicality of its formal effects, linking the rhythms of the human body to the natural pulsation of the universe. In Electric Meters: Victorian Physiological PoeticsJason R. Rudy connects formal poetic innovations to developments in the electrical and physiological sciences, arguing that the electrical sciences and bodily poetics cannot be separated, and that they came together with special force in the years between the 1830s, which witnessed the invention of the electric telegraph, and the 1870s, when James Clerk Maxwell’s electric field theory transformed the study of electrodynamics. Combining formal poetic analysis with cultural history, Rudy traces the development of Victorian physiological poetics from the Romantic poetess tradition through to the works of Alfred Tennyson, the “Spasmodic” poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Algernon Swinburne, among others. He demonstrates how poetic rhythm came increasingly to be understood throughout the nineteenth century as a physiological mechanism, as poets across class, sex, and national boundaries engaged intensely and in a variety of ways with the human body’s subtle response to rhythmic patterns. Whether that opportunity for transcendence was interpersonal or spiritual in nature, nineteenth–century poets looked to electricity as a model for overcoming boundaries, for communicating across the gaps between sound and sense, between emotion and thought, and-perhaps-between individuals in the modern world. Electric Meterswill appeal to those interested in poetry of any period and particularly those interested in nineteenth–century culture and history.
Bowker Data Service Summary
In this work, the author examines the connection between science and Victorian poetry. He argues that they came together with special force in the years between the invention of the electric telegraph in the 1830s and the 1870s, when James Clerk Maxwell transformed the study of electrodynamics.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem