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Wordsworth, Commodification, and Social Concern: The Poetics of Modernity: 79 (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism, Series Number 79)

Wordsworth, Commodification, and Social Concern: The Poetics of Modernity: 79 (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism, Series Number 79)

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David Simpson
Cambridge University Press, 2/19/2009
EAN 9780521898775, ISBN10: 0521898773

Hardcover, 292 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
Language: English

This reading of Wordworth's poetry by leading critic David Simpson centres on its almost obsessive representation of spectral forms and images of death in life. Wordsworth is reacting, Simpson argues, to the massive changes in the condition of England and the modern world at the turn of the century: mass warfare; the increased scope of machine-driven labour and urbanisation; and the expanding power of commodity form in rendering economic and social exchange more and more abstract, more and more distant from human agency and control. Reading Wordsworth alongside Marx and Derrida, Simpson examines the genesis of an attitude of concern which exemplifies the predicament of modern subjectivity as it faces suffering and distress.

Introduction
1. At the limits of sympathy
2. At home with homelessness
3. Figures in the mist
4. Timing modernity
around 1800
5. The ghostliness of things
6. Living images, still lives
7. The scene of reading.

Review of the hardback: 'This is an accomplished scholarly monograph, the importance of which cannot be overstated. By locating Wordsworth's poetics at the very heart of modernity, Simpson revitalizes and recontextualizes a poet who has too long languished in the heritage-industry lumber-room of middle England.' Philological Quarterly