What is literary history again?
1. Formalism a history of forms and appreciation of them
• Academia part of your textbook
• Donne, Paradise Lost, Moll Flanders everything is in particular order
• Appreciating acknowledge that they are useful to you
• Juxtaposition of high and low
• The double plot* which is the more important one
• Moll Flanders formal realism actual person talking to you? Form of imagination?
• *I see what is going on*
2. Literature in and subservient to history
• Norton is useful…the introductions give briefing on history, orienting you and giving you
a sense of what is going on
• Intellectual history the history of ideas
o How do vernacular languages appear?
o What is the reformation?
ARGUMENT ABOUT IDEAS
What is God, the word of God?
• The enlightenment? What is the enlightenment?
o Series of arguments about ideas that people have
• Absolutism history of England kings get more powerful and take over more territory
o INTELLECTUAL COMPONENT
• Nationalism british? English? Course about language or nationalism? Scotland and
• Areopagitica history of ideas, what is freedom?
• You need to know about the English revolution, civil wars, Charles the first is killed in
• History of Europe marie de france England has its own history, but it also part of
European history and if you isolate it you are missing a bunch of stuff
• All of the things that are happening in literature are happening on the continent th
• Part of Europe* fall of the roman empire in the 5 century birth of the catholic church as
a pan European church that makes Europe Europe
• Its not until you get the church uniting people of different languages under religious
• England, britian, UK, Americas is part of that*simply a fact
3. Literature as history, literature as a way of thinking about history
• Moment when the Norton as a textbook shows limitations
• Moll Flanders in the slave trade* very much part of the slave trade, but not in a simple
o Implicated in difficult ways
• Henry the 4 has something to do with absolutism*
o Thoughtful, calculating, back and forth between what you think about henry you
are doing literature AS history
• Areopagitica in the public sphere even though it appears before much of the coffee
houses are built is connected to them somewhat
o Questions of public debate, democracy, what does and does not count as reason
4. Philology literature as language, as “letters”
• Love of words
• Tracing the history of words
• History built right into them
• The word literature doesn’t mean fictiothuntil after our course ends, doesn’t entirely
mean poems, novel, etc. until about 18 century
• Literature as WRITING, comes from the root word letters
• Just recognizing that there is not even a word for the thing we are supposed to be
• Nothing called literature? Called writing of various forms STUDYING WRITING
LITERARY HISTORY= the stakes of the question, what is literary history? He political, social,
…to learn the history of ways we make provisional decisions about what counts as right and
wrong, true and not true; and to show that claims to knowledge and ethics are, not absolute, but