Monday, 4 November 2013

November Reading Group: The Corpus and the Corpse: Nineteenth Century Literary Biography


Monday 18 November, Northumbria University, 6pm

                                    (Lipman Building Room 121)

                                Led by Beatrice Turner (Newcastle)



For the November session, we'll be reading Wordsworth's 'Letter to a Friend of Burns' (1816) and Hazlitt's 'Essay on Spence's Anecotes of Pope' (1820), two texts which approach the issue of literary biography in very different ways, alongside an extract from Paul de Man's 1979 article 'Autobiography as De-facement'.

 What's interesting about the Wordsworth and Hazlitt texts, for me at least, isn't so much their antagonistic views about literary biography's value as the way both seem to turn on figurative equivalencies between the poet's life, their physical remains and their literary remains. Reading these alongside the De Man article, which might raise its own interpretive (or even moral) issues, my hope is that they'll trigger a discussion about literary biography both in relation to the Romantic poem and to nineteenth century literature, and more generally about the relationship between the life, the work and the reader.


Email northeast19thcentury@gmail.com for queries or copies of the reading materials.