Romantic Vagrancy: Wordsworth and the Simulation of Freedom by Celeste LanganRomantic Vagrancy: Wordsworth and the Simulation of Freedom by Celeste Langan

Romantic Vagrancy: Wordsworth and the Simulation of Freedom

byCeleste Langan

Paperback | December 14, 2006

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Romantic Vagrancy offers a provocative account of Wordsworth's representation of walking as the exercise of imagination, by tracing a recurrent analogy between the poet in search of materials and the literally dispossessed beggars and vagrants he encounters. Reading Wordsworth--and Rousseau before him--from the perspective of current debates about the political and social rights of the homeless, Celeste Langan argues that both literature and vagrancy are surprisingly rich and disturbing images of the 'negative freedom' at the heart of liberalism. Langan shows how the formal structure of the Romantic poem--the improvisational excursion--mirrors its apparent themes, often narratives of impoverishment or abandonment. According to Langan, the encounter between the beggar and the passerby in Wordsworth's poetry does not simply reveal a social conscience or its lack; it represents the advent of the liberal subject, whose identity is stretched out between origin and destination, caught between economic and political forces, and the workings of desire. Langan's powerful and innovative argument revises current views both of Wordsworth's poetry and of the relation of literature to its social and political context.
Title:Romantic Vagrancy: Wordsworth and the Simulation of FreedomFormat:PaperbackDimensions:316 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.71 inPublished:December 14, 2006Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521035104

ISBN - 13:9780521035101


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; A methodological preamble; Introduction; 1. Rousseau plays the beggar: the last words of citizen subject; 2. Money walks: Wordsworth and the right to wander; 3. Walking and talking at the same time: the 'two histories' of The Prelude; 4. The walking cure; Notes; Works cited; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"Romantic Vagrancy is well informed by theories of property, value and identity in Kant, Marx, Adorno and Simmel." Timothy Morton, Studies in Romanticism