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Swiftly Sterneward

Essays on Laurence Sterne and His Times in Honor of Melvyn New

Edited by W. B. Gerard; E Derek Taylor and Robert G. Walker - Contributions by Joseph G. Kronick; Taylor Corse; James E. May; Martha F. Bowden; Eric Rothstein; Frank Palmeri; Elizabeth Kraft; W G. Day; Madeleine Descargues-Grant and Donald R. Wehrs

These thirteen essays have been collected to honor Melvyn New, professor emeritus (Florida), and are prefaced by a description of his scholarly career of more than forty years. Suggesting the wide range of that career, the first eight essays offer various critical perspectives on a diverse group of eighteenth-century authors. These include a reading of Eliot in the shadow of Pope; a comparison of Gainsborough’s final paintings and Sterne’s Sentimental Journey; a study of Johnson and casuistry; a discussion of Smollett’s view of slavery in Roderick Random; a bibliographical study of a Lyttelton poem; a comparison of Swift and Nietzsche; and two essays about Fielding’s Joseph Andrews. Laurence Sterne, the primary focus of Professor New’s scholarship, is also the focus of the final five essays, which treat Sterne in contexts as disparate as the kabbalah, abolitionist discourse, local English church politics, the use of the fragment, and, finally, the culture of modernity. « less more »
University Press Copublishing Division / University of Delaware Press
Pages: 312Size: 6 3/8 x 9 3/8
978-1-61149-058-9 • Hardback • April 2011 • $100.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-61149-059-6 • eBook • April 2011 • $59.00 • (£39.95)
W. B. Gerard is associate professor of English at Auburn University Montgomery.
E. Derek Taylor is associate professor of English at Longwood University.
Robert G. Walker was a graduate student under Melvyn New at the University of Florida from 1969-1974.
Introduction: Selected Publications by Melvyn New
I: Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century
1. Alexander Pope, T. S. Eliot, and the Fate of Poetry
byJoseph G. Kronick
2. A Sentimental Journey through Thomas Gainsborough's "Cottage-door" Paintings
by E. Derek Taylor
3. Johnson and Moral Argument: "We talked of the casuistical question . . " by Robert G. Walker
4. Slavery in Roderick Random
by Taylor Corse
5. The Printing and Publication of Three Folio Editions of George Lyttelton's To the Memory of a Lady Lately Deceased (1747-48)
by James E. May
6. Parson Adams's Sermons: Benjamin Hoadly and Henry Fielding
by Martha E. Bowden
7. Joseph Andrews, Realism, and Openness
by Eric Rothstein
8. Satire and the Psychology of Religion in Swift and Nietzsche
by Frank Palmeri
II: Perspectives on Laurence Sterne
9. Gershom Scholem's Reading of
Tristram Shandy by Elizabeth Kraft
10. Laurence Sterne, the Apostrophe, and American Abolitionism, 1788-1831
by W.B. Gerard
11. Attribution Problems in Sterne's Ecclesiastical and Secular Politickings
by W.G. Day
12. Sterne and the Miracle of the Fragment
by Madeleine Descargues-Grant
13. The centrality of Sterne in the Culture of Modernity, or Melvyn New and the Rewriting of the West
by Donald R. Wehrs
About the Contributors

The essays gathered here represent the finest examples of some of the most influential currents in Sterne scholarship, reconstructing more precisely the popular and religious contexts of his writing, and situating that writing ever more creatively within an expanding empire and an unfolding modernity. Many of these essays are also marked by a particular approach to their subject. It has long been apparent to readers that Sterne’s work embraces seemingly contrary or even conflicting values: satire and sentiment, tradition and innovation, the bawdy and the pathetic, the earthly and the spiritual.
Eighteenth-Century Life

The title [Swiftly Sterneward] is well chosen; it alludes to New’s career-long tracing of Sterne’s satirical influences, but does so through a quotation from Finnegan’s Wake, thereby capturing a sense of New’s other major scholarly pursuit, literary Modernism and its legacy in the eighteenth century. The contributions are equally well chosen, featuring a wealth of methodologies reflecting major currents within New’s own criticism. . . .Perhaps equally importantly, the essays create a sense of the scholarly conversation inspired by and surrounding New’s work, especially when read collectively and concluding with Donald Wehrs’s lucid appreciation. Indeed, it is difficult not to draw comparisons between Sterne’s celebrants. . . .and the generations of Shandeans influenced by New, many of whom contribute essays here.
Eighteenth-Century Studies

This volume lives up to the spirit of its dedicatee. There is no English equivalent for the German word Festschrift, and it is very much in the German tradition that such a collection is brought together by the honoured academic's close colleagues, often including his former doctoral students. It is typically published on the occasion of the dedicatee's retirement, but in this case it is hoped as well as expected that there will still be many years in which Sterneans will read articles, editions and reviews from the pen of the American Nestor of Stern studies.
The Shandean

The volume Swiftly Sterneward, in honor of Melvyn New, is divided into two parts, the first devoted to various poets and novelist. In spite of its title, there is only one essay on Swift, a short thought-provoking account of 'Satire and the Psychology of Religion in Swift and Nietzsche,' by Frank Palmeri. The second part concentrates on Sterne, with a notable essay by Madeleine Descargues-Grant on ‘Sterne and the Miracle of the Fragment,’ and a concluding piece by Donald R. Wehrs with the eye-popping title 'The Centrality of Sterne in the Culture of Modernity, or Melvyn New and the Rewriting of the West.'
American Behavioral Scientist