Oscar Wildes Historical Criticism Notebook

Hardcover | October 22, 2016

EditorPhilip E. Smith

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This volume contains the newly transcribed and annotated text of one of Oscar Wilde's unpublished notebooks that functioned as a major ante-text for the composition of Wilde's first post-graduate essay, Historical Criticism, written in 1879 as an entry for the Chancellor's English Essay Prizeat Oxford. Attempting to win a fellowship at Oxford as a serious scholar, Wilde used the notebook to record his research into modern and classical historians and to formulate language that appears, often in revised form, in the essay. The notebook shows us his practices of research and composition:he often worked on particular historians or issues in sections of adjoining pages, accumulating examples from their works and composing passages describing their exemplary practices and their awareness of issues in historiography. His entries include materials drawn from classical historians andphilosophers, for example, Plato, Aristotle, Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius, Tacitus, Livy, Lucian, and Plutarch, as well as mentions and/or materials from modern historians and philosophers such as Giambattista Vico, J. G. Fichte, Victor Cousin, George Grote, G. H. Lewes, Henry T. Buckle, RobertFlint, J. A. Symonds, Alexis de Tocqueville, Hippolyte Taine, Jules Michelet, Herbert Spencer, and Ernest Renan. The notebook not only tells us much about Wilde's practices of composing and editing the language that appears in the essay, it also contains the unused materials Wilde studied and for which he drafted language. For example, Wilde scholars will find scattered throughout the notebook the unusedphrases, sentences, and notations that relate to subjects or ideas that Wilde mentions or expands in other notebook entries. These entries and drafts of his commentary are interesting in themselves as Wilde's expanded summation of the contributions of these historians to his topic; they also revealwhich episodes from history and characteristics of their historiography he found worthy of study. Finally, they show Wilde's wit and comparative imagination at work finding parallels in early modern history and literature for his chosen examples.

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This volume contains the newly transcribed and annotated text of one of Oscar Wilde's unpublished notebooks that functioned as a major ante-text for the composition of Wilde's first post-graduate essay, Historical Criticism, written in 1879 as an entry for the Chancellor's English Essay Prizeat Oxford. Attempting to win a fellowship at...

Philip E. Smith is Associate Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh, where he taught from 1970-2014. He chaired the department from 1987 to 1995 and won the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching and Chancellor's Distinguished Service Awards. He received the Association of Departments of English (ADE) Francis Andrew...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 0.01 inPublished:October 22, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019968801X

ISBN - 13:9780199688012

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionHistorical Criticism NotebookCommentaryWorks ConsultedAppendixIndex