Catalogue


Victorian interpretation [electronic resource] /
Suzy Anger.
imprint
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 2005.
description
xii, 207 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
080144201X (cloth : alk. paper), 9780801442018
format(s)
Book
More Details
author
imprint
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 2005.
isbn
080144201X (cloth : alk. paper)
9780801442018
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Victorian scriptural hermeneutics : history, intention, and evolution -- Intertext 1 : Victorian legal interpretation -- Carlyle : between biblical exegesis and romantic hermeneutics -- Intertext 2 : Victorian science and hermeneutics : the interpretation of nature -- George Eliot's hermeneutics of sympathy -- Intertext 3 : Victorian literary criticism -- Subjectivism, intersubjectivity, and intention : Oscar Wilde and literary hermeneutics.
catalogue key
8848492
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 173-197) and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Sonya Rudikoff Book Award, USA, 2005 : Won
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-09-01:
Anger (English, Univ. of British Columbia) examines Victorian contributions to the development of a secular hermeneutic tradition. Focusing on the works of John Henry Newman, Thomas Carlyle, George Eliot, and Oscar Wilde, Anger traces the continuities between 19th- and 20th-century theories of interpretation. She details the roles of scriptural hermeneutics and legal analysis in shaping Victorian literary criticism; situates Carlyle as the pivotal figure in the transition from religious to secular hermeneutics; outlines the place of subjectivity in Victorian scientific analysis and in George Eliot's fiction; and reclaims the seemingly amoral Wilde as a fundamentally ethical critic. The book's structure underscores its content: case studies that detail the links between (mainly German Romantic) philosophical influences, their Victorian proponents and interpreters, and their 20th- and 21st-century descendants (and detractors) alternate with relatively brief and lucid "intertext" essays on Victorian legal, scientific, literary, and psychological interpretation. The result is a study that usefully combines specificity of analysis and broadness of range and makes a lucid case for the sophistication and significance of Victorian critical thought. Despite the subject matter, the volume is relatively free of jargon; necessary terms are clearly defined and consistently deployed. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. S. C. Robinson Pacific Lutheran University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Anger examines Victorian contributions to the development of a secular hermeneutic tradition. . . . The result is a study that usefully combines specificity of analysis and broadness of range and makes a lucid case for the sophistication and significance of Victorian critical thought."-Choice
"Suzy Anger has written an astute, deeply informed history of Victorian theories of interpretation. As she thinks her way into the sophisticated balances struck by Victorian minds, Anger's own narrative exemplifies the double embrace of epistemological doubt and ethical commitment that she traces through the nineteenth century."-Rosemarie Bodenheimer, Boston College
"Suzy Anger moves between biblical and secular, German and British, Victorian and twentieth-century theories of interpretation with great tact, eloquence, and originality. Exploring both the continuities and the swervings within such pairs, she isolates a distinctively British hermeneutic tradition in the links among Carlyle, Newman, George Eliot, and Wilde with a persuasive force that immediately establishes her as a literary/philosophical critic of the highest order."-Gerhard Joseph, Lehman College and the Graduate School, City University of New York
"Suzy Anger's book on Victorian hermeneutics will significantly reshape our understanding of the critical tradition that has formed the discipline of literary study. Anger's critical and scholarly virtues are multiple, and they work to illuminate both philosophical issues and the development of literary criticism through the nineteenth century into modernism. The book taught me an enormous amount about hermeneutics and, even more important for literary scholars, the way the hermeneutic tradition entered into and helped shape and anticipate modern criticism. Anger is one of those rare literary critics who has truly mastered philosophical issues and who can speak authoritatively across the disciplines. She has helped change the shape of the field."-George Levine, Kenneth Burke Professor of English and Director of the Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University
"The book offers a brilliant and radical reevaluation of Victorian thought processes and will require students of Victorian culture and historians of literary theory to reformulate their ideas about what the Victorians knew and thought about interpretation in all areas of their lives."-Victorian Review
"The intellectual courage of this book lies in its commitment to mapping out a broad sweep of the history of ideas while gesturing to the afterlives of nineteenth-century hermeneutics in twentieth-century literary theory. Above all this book invites its readers to engage in intellectual dialogue beyond the bounds of nineteenth-century British studies."-Victorian Studies
"Victorian Interpretation is a wonderfully bold, erudite, and bracing rethinking of Victorian intellectual method. In charting the emergence of a general hermeneutics in nineteenth-century Britain, Suzy Anger offers pointed revaluations of major Victorian thinkers and Victorian thought generally, and deftly underscores their relevance to the way we interpret now. This is a book that should engage historians and theorists alike."-James Eli Adams, Cornell University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2006
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
Suzy Anger investigates the relationship of Victorian interpretation to the ways in which literary criticism is practised today. Her primary focus is literary interpretation bus she also considers fields such as legal theory, psychology, history and the natural sciences.
Main Description
Suzy Anger investigates the relationship of Victorian interpretation to the ways in which literary criticism is practiced today. Her primary focus is literary interpretation, but she also considers fields such as legal theory, psychology, history, and the natural sciences in order to establish the pervasiveness of hermeneutic thought in Victorian culture. Anger's book demonstrates that much current thought on interpretation has its antecedents in the Victorians, who were already deeply engaged with the problems of interpretation that concern literary theorists today. Anger traces the development and transformation of interpretive theory from a religious to a secular (and particularly literary) context. She argues that even as hermeneutic theory was secularized in literary interpretation it carried in its practice some of the religious implications with which the tradition began. She further maintains that, for the Victorians, theories of interpretation are often connected to ethical principles and suggests that all theories of interpretation may ultimately be grounded in ethical theories. Beginning with an examination of Victorian biblical exegesis, in the work of figures such as Benjamin Jowett, John Henry Newman, and Matthew Arnold, the book moves to studies of Thomas Carlyle, George Eliot, and Oscar Wilde. Emphasizing the extent to which these important writers are preoccupied with hermeneutics, Anger also shows that consideration of their thought brings to light questions and qualifications of some of the assumptions of contemporary criticism.
Unpaid Annotation
Suzy Anger investigates the relationship of Victorian interpretation to the ways in which literary criticism is practiced today. Her primary focus is literary interpretation, but she also considers fields such as legal theory, psychology, history, and the natural sciences in order to establish the pervasiveness of hermeneutic thought in Victorian culture. Anger' book demonstrates that much current thought on interpretation has its antecedents in the Victorians, who were already deeply engaged with the problem of interpretation that concern literary theorists today.Anger traces the development and transformation of interpretive theory from a religious to a secular (and particularly literary) context. She argues that even as hermeneutic theory was secularized in literary interpretation it carried in its practice some of the religious implications with which the tradition began. She further maintains that for the Victorians, theories of interpretation are often connected to ethical principles, and suggests that all theories of interpretation may ultimately be grounded in ethical theories.Beginning with an examination of Victorian biblical exegesis, in figures such as Benjamin Jowett, John Henry Newman, and Matthew Arnold, the book moves to studies of Thomas Carlyle, George Eliot, and Oscar Wilde. Emphasizing the extent to which these important writers are preoccupied with hermeneutics, Anger also shows that their thought questions and qualifies some of the assumptions of contemporary criticism.
Table of Contents
Victorian scriptural hermeneutics : history, intention, and evolutionp. 22
Intertext I : Victorian legal interpretationp. 49
Carlyle : between biblical exegesis and romantic hermeneuticsp. 61
Intertext 2 : Victorian science and hermeneutics : the interpretation of naturep. 85
George Eliot's hermeneutics of sympathyp. 95
Intertext 3 : Victorian literary criticismp. 131
Subjectivism, intersubjectivity, and intention : Oscar Wilde and literary hermeneuticsp. 141
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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