Catalogue


Making waste : leftovers and the eighteenth-century imagination /
Sophie Gee.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 2010.
description
viii, 196 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
9780691139845 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 2010.
isbn
9780691139845 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Making waste -- The invention of the wasteland : civic narrative and Dryden's Annus mirabilis -- Wastelands, Paradise lost, and popular polemic at the restoration -- Milton's chaos in Pope's London : material philosophy and the book trade -- The man on the dump : Swift, Ireland, and the problem of waste -- Holding onto the corpse : fleshly remains in A journal of the plague year -- Mr. Spectator's Tears and Sophia Western's Muff.
catalogue key
7035900
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This is a vivaciously written, multidimensional study of the problem and promise that waste posed to the eighteenth-century English imagination. It is surprisingly and commendably concise, given its topic, and it frames economic, political, anthropological, and historical analysis with a very fine literary sensibility--one that actively appreciates the role that imaginative writing played in the negotiation of a paradox that turns out to be constitutive of modern English identity."-- Jayne Lewis, University of California, Irvine " Making Waste is a pleasure to read--vividly, gracefully, wittily written. It will be a valuable contribution to eighteenth-century literary and cultural studies."-- Cynthia Wall, University of Virginia
Flap Copy
"This is a vivaciously written, multidimensional study of the problem and promise that waste posed to the eighteenth-century English imagination. It is surprisingly and commendably concise, given its topic, and it frames economic, political, anthropological, and historical analysis with a very fine literary sensibility--one that actively appreciates the role that imaginative writing played in the negotiation of a paradox that turns out to be constitutive of modern English identity."--Jayne Lewis, University of California, Irvine " Making Waste is a pleasure to read--vividly, gracefully, wittily written. It will be a valuable contribution to eighteenth-century literary and cultural studies."--Cynthia Wall, University of Virginia
Flap Copy
"This is a vivaciously written, multidimensional study of the problem and promise that waste posed to the eighteenth-century English imagination. It is surprisingly and commendably concise, given its topic, and it frames economic, political, anthropological, and historical analysis with a very fine literary sensibility--one that actively appreciates the role that imaginative writing played in the negotiation of a paradox that turns out to be constitutive of modern English identity."--Jayne Lewis, University of California, Irvine"Making Wasteis a pleasure to read--vividly, gracefully, wittily written. It will be a valuable contribution to eighteenth-century literary and cultural studies."--Cynthia Wall, University of Virginia
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-08-01:
This brief book on an unlikely topic is packed with insights. By focusing on "waste," Gee (English, Princeton Univ.) has found an original way to look at the literature of the Restoration and early 18th century. The author understands "waste" broadly: it includes the ruins of London after the Great Fire, dead bodies during the plague of 1665, undeveloped agricultural fields ("wasteland"), filth, excrement, even the abundance of God's creation that goes unused. By paying attention to the place of these "leftovers" in the culture of the era, the author is able to give novel readings of major works of literature, including John Dryden's Annus Mirabilis, John Milton's Paradise Lost, Alexander Pope's The Dunciad, Jonathan Swift's poems, and Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year. Finding new things to say about canonical works is no small achievement, and Gee goes back and forth between minute close readings and sweeping historical arguments with ease. Best of all, she always writes clearly, making her book accessible even to beginners. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. T. Lynch Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark
Reviews
Review Quotes
Dazzling in its range of reference and implications, Making Waste springs to life like Swift's gaudy tulips, mixing memory and desire like lilacs bred out of the dead land, and inviting us to feast on the rich literary and theoretical harvest Ms. Gee has gleaned from the leftover.
"Dazzling in its range of reference and implications, Making Waste springs to life like Swift's gaudy tulips, mixing memory and desire like lilacs bred out of the dead land, and inviting us to feast on the rich literary and theoretical harvest Ms. Gee has gleaned from the leftover."-- Lynn Festa, Scriblerian
For a book concerned largely with filth, Making Waste is stylistically pristine. Gee writes with an elegance and fluency that buoys her thinking from one topic to the next. . . . Rarely does criticism read so well.
"For a book concerned largely with filth, Making Waste is stylistically pristine. Gee writes with an elegance and fluency that buoys her thinking from one topic to the next. . . . Rarely does criticism read so well."-- Jonathan Kramnick, Studies in English Literature
For a book concerned largely with filth, Making Waste is stylistically pristine. Gee writes with an elegance and fluency that buoys her thinking from one topic to the next. . . . Rarely does criticism read so well. -- Jonathan Kramnick, Studies in English Literature
For a book concerned largely with filth,Making Wasteis stylistically pristine. Gee writes with an elegance and fluency that buoys her thinking from one topic to the next. . . . Rarely does criticism read so well. -- Jonathan Kramnick, Studies in English Literature
This brief book on an unlikely topic is packed with insights. By focusing on 'waste,' Gee has found an original way to look at the literature of the Restoration and early 18th century. . . . Best of all, she always writes clearly, making her book accessible even to beginners.
"This brief book on an unlikely topic is packed with insights. By focusing on 'waste,' Gee has found an original way to look at the literature of the Restoration and early 18th century. . . . Best of all, she always writes clearly, making her book accessible even to beginners."-- Choice
This brief book on an unlikely topic is packed with insights. By focusing on 'waste,' Gee has found an original way to look at the literature of the Restoration and early 18th century. . . . Best of all, she always writes clearly, making her book accessible even to beginners. -- Choice
Making Wasteis a pleasure to read--vividly, gracefully, wittily written. It will be a valuable contribution to eighteenth-century literary and cultural studies.
This is a vivaciously written, multidimensional study of the problem and promise that waste posed to the eighteenth-century English imagination. It is surprisingly and commendably concise, given its topic, and it frames economic, political, anthropological, and historical analysis with a very fine literary sensibility--one that actively appreciates the role that imaginative writing played in the negotiation of a paradox that turns out to be constitutive of modern English identity.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2010
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
Bowker Data Service Summary
Here, Gee explains how English writers used contemporary theological and philosophical texts about unwanted and leftover matter to explore secular, literary relationships between waste and value. She finds that, in the 18th century, waste was as culturally valuable as it was practically worthless.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Here, Gee explains how English writers used contemporary theological and philosophical texts about unwanted and leftover matter to explore secular, literary relationships between waste and value. She fings that, in the 18th century, waste was as culturally valuable as it was practically worthless.
Main Description
"This is a vivaciously written, multidimensional study of the problem and promise that waste posed to the eighteenth-century English imagination. It is surprisingly and commendably concise, given its topic, and it frames economic, political, anthropological, and historical analysis with a very fine literary sensibility--one that actively appreciates the role that imaginative writing played in the negotiation of a paradox that turns out to be constitutive of modern English identity."--Jayne Lewis, University of California, Irvine ""Making Waste" is a pleasure to read--vividly, gracefully, wittily written. It will be a valuable contribution to eighteenth-century literary and cultural studies."--Cynthia Wall, University of Virginia
Main Description
Why was eighteenth-century English culture so fascinated with the things its society discarded? Why did Restoration and Augustan writers such as Milton, Dryden, Swift, and Pope describe, catalog, and memorialize the waste matter that their social and political worlds wanted to get rid of--from the theological dregs in Paradise Lost to the excrements in "The Lady's Dressing Room" and the corpses of A Journal of the Plague Year? In Making Waste , the first book about refuse and its place in Enlightenment literature and culture, Sophie Gee examines the meaning of waste at the moment when the early modern world was turning modern. Gee explains how English writers used contemporary theological and philosophical texts about unwanted and leftover matter to explore secular, literary relationships between waste and value. She finds that, in the eighteenth century, waste was as culturally valuable as it was practically worthless--and that waste paradoxically revealed the things that the culture cherished most. The surprising central insight of Making Waste is that the creation of value always generates waste. Waste is therefore a sign--though a perverse one--that value and meaning have been made. Even when it appears to symbolize civic, economic, and political failure, waste is in fact restorative, a sign of cultural invigoration and imaginative abundance. Challenging the conventional association of Enlightenment culture with political and social improvement, and scientific and commercial progress, Making Waste has important insights for cultural and intellectual history as well as literary studies.
Main Description
Why was eighteenth-century English culture so fascinated with the things its society discarded? Why did Restoration and Augustan writers such as Milton, Dryden, Swift, and Pope describe, catalog, and memorialize the waste matter that their social and political worlds wanted to get rid of--from the theological dregs inParadiseLost to the excrements in "The Lady's Dressing Room" and the corpses of AJournal of the Plague Year?InMaking Waste, the first book about refuse and its place in Enlightenment literature and culture, Sophie Gee examines the meaning of waste at the moment when the early modern world was turning modern.Gee explains how English writers used contemporary theological and philosophical texts about unwanted and leftover matter to explore secular, literary relationships between waste and value. She finds that, in the eighteenth century, waste was as culturally valuable as it was practically worthless--and that waste paradoxically revealed the things that the culture cherished most.The surprising central insight ofMaking Wasteis that the creation of value always generates waste. Waste is therefore a sign--though a perverse one--that value and meaning have been made. Even when it appears to symbolize civic, economic, and political failure, waste is in fact restorative, a sign of cultural invigoration and imaginative abundance. Challenging the conventional association of Enlightenment culture with political and social improvement, and scientific and commercial progress,Making Wastehas important insights for cultural and intellectual history as well as literary studies.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: Making Wastep. 1
The Invention of the Wasteland: Civic Narrative and Dryden's Annus Mirabilisp. 18
Wastelands, Paradise Lost and Popular Polemic at the Restorationp. 41
Milton's Chaos in Pope's London: Material Philosophy and the Book Tradep. 67
The Man on the Dump: Swift, Ireland, and the Problem of Wastep. 91
Holding On to the Corpse: Fleshly Remains in A Journal of the Plague Yearp. 112
Afterword: Mr. Spectator's Tears and Sophia Western's Muffp. 137
Notesp. 145
Bibliographyp. 169
Indexp. 187
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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