Romantic Vacancy: The Poetics of Gender, Affect, and Radical Speculation

SUNY Press
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Examines the concept of a poetics of vacancy in Romantic-era literature.


Romantic Vacancy argues that, at the cult of sensibility’s height, Romantic writers found alternative tropes of affect to express movement beyond sensation and the body. Grappling with sensibility’s claims that sensation could be translated into ideas and emotions, poets of vacancy rewrote core empiricist philosophies that trapped women and men in sensitive bodies and, more detrimentally, in ideological narratives about emotional response that gendered subjects’ bodies and minds. Kate Singer contends that affect’s genesis occurs instead through a series of figurative responses and movements that loop together human and nonhuman movements of mind, body, and nature into a posthuman affect. This book discovers a new form of Romantic affect that is dynamically linguistic and material. It seeks to end the long tradition of holding women and men writers of the Romantic period as separate and largely unequal. It places women writers at the forefront of speculative thinking, repositions questions of gender at the vanguard of Romantic-era thought, revises how we have long thought of gender in the period, and rewrites our notions of Romantic affect. Finally, it answers pivotal questions facing both affect studies and Romanticism about interrelations among language, affect, and materiality. Readers will learn more about the deep history of how poetic language can help us move beyond binary gender and its limiting intellectual and affective ideologies.


Romantic Vacancy is a formidable text for our time. Providing a nuanced and original account of Romanticism’s reconfiguration of affect, Singer not only opens up new ways of thinking about literature of the past; her detailed argument for complex poetic explorations of what it means to be a self, create challenges for the present, especially through the intimate relation between text and affect. This book is essential for anyone working in literary Romanticism, but will also be valuable for those interested in the complex literary history of affect.” — Claire Colebrook, Pennsylvania State University


Praise for Romantic Vacancy


“For some time now there has been what we might call a movement that attends in Romantic writing to affects and states of being we had previously neglected or simply missed altogether. A generation of scholars, junior and senior, is mapping out this uncharted territory in the most original manner, along the way teaching us how to be with Romanticism, and how Romanticism has always been with us, in ways that are teaching all of us in turn how to be with the present. We can put Kate Singer’s Romantic Vacancy—smart, insightful, beautifully argued—at the vanguard of this movement, proof of the fact that any rumours of the death of our field are not only highly exaggerated but just plain wrong.” — Joel Faflak, author of Romantic Psychoanalysis: The Burden of the Mystery


Romantic Vacancy offers compelling close readings of Romantic women poets and two canonical male poets (Shelley and Wordsworth). After reading this book, Romantic-era scholars will no longer be able to read these poets in the same way again—I think this book will be a game changer for scholars working on women poets. This is a very fine work that should have a significant influence on the field.” — Daniela Garofalo, author of Women, Love, and Commodity Culture in British Romanticism

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About the author

Kate Singer is Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Critical Social Thought Program at Mount Holyoke University.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Aug 1, 2019
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Pages
278
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ISBN
9781438475295
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Gothic & Romance
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Greetings, 
In regards to the Matter of the un-entailed Estate of the late-Jonathan Hambly, 10th Earl of Banfield, be advised that your attendance is urgently required at the reading of his lordship’s Last Will & Testament, to take place on November 1st of this year at Castle Keyvnor in Bocka Morrow, Cornwall. 
Regards, 
Mr. Timothy Hunt, Esq. 

When the late-Earl of Banfield’s distant relations descend upon Bocka Morrow, they’ll find gypsies, witches, pixies, smugglers, and one very haunted castle. And if they’re lucky, they might just fall in love while they’re there. 

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Jane Charles's Her Gypsy Lord 
Lady Charlotte Beck craves just one little adventure, which is nearly impossible as her older brothers are the most diligent of chaperones. However, when her family is summoned to Castle Keyvnor for the reading of her great-uncle’s will, Charlotte can hardly contain her excitement. Ghosts, magic and gypsies seem to be the ingredients to the adventure she’s been searching for. However when she meets Adam Vail in the nearby gypsy camp, it may be another adventure all together that calls to her soul…if she can survive Castle Keyvnor and one very murderous ghost. 

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The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor includes twelve Regency romance novellas. Don’t miss the anthologies Vexed, Bedeviled, and Mystified. 

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Greetings, 

In regards to the Matter of the un-entailed Estate of the late-Jonathan Hambly, 10th Earl of Banfield, be advised that your attendance is urgently required at the reading of his lordship’s Last Will & Testament, to take place on November 1st of this year at Castle Keyvnor in Bocka Morrow, Cornwall. 
Regards, 
Mr. Timothy Hunt, Esq. 

When the late-Earl of Banfield’s distant relations descend upon Bocka Morrow, they’ll find gypsies, witches, pixies, smugglers, and one very haunted castle. And if they’re lucky, they might just fall in love while they’re there. 

VEXED, The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor includes: 

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The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor includes twelve Regency romance novellas. Don’t miss the anthologies Bedeviled, Mystified, and Spellbound.

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