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Romantic Realities

Speculative Realism and British Romanticism

Evan Gottlieb

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Reads Romantic literature through the lens of 21st century speculative realist philosophy

Speculative realism is one of the most exciting, influential and controversial new branches of philosophy to emerge in recent years. Now, Evan Gottlieb shows that the speculative realism movement bears striking a resemblance to the ideas and beliefs of the best-known British poets of the Romantic era.

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Contents

Acknowledgments

Series Editor’s Preface

Introduction

1. Wordsworth and Object-Oriented Philosophy

2. Coleridge, Nature-Philosophy and Process Ontology

3. Byron, Actor-Network-Theory and Truth Procedures

4. Shelley, Nihilism and Speculative Materialism

5. Keats, Vital Materialism and Flat Ontology

Conclusion

Index

About the Author

Evan Gottlieb is Professor of English at Oregon State University. He is the author of Romantic Globalism: British Literature and Modern World Order (Ohio State UP, 2014), Walter Scott and Contemporary Theory (Bloomsbury, 2013) and Feeling British: Sympathy and National Identity in Scottish and English Writing 1707-1832 (Bucknell University Press, 2007). He is editor of Global Romanticism: Origins, Orientations, and Engagements, 1760-1820 (Bucknell UP, 2015) and a new Norton Critical Edition of Tobias Smollett's The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (2nd ed., WW Norton, 2015). He is co-editor, with Juliet Shields, of Representing Place in British Literature and Culture, 1660-1830: From Local to Global (Ashgate, 2013) and, with Ian Duncan, of Approaches to Teaching Scott’s Waverley Novels (MLA, 2009).

Reviews

It was only a matter of time before literary criticism caught up with speculative realism. And, counter-intuitive as it may sound, Romanticism is an ideal starting place. Evan Gottlieb's fine study shows how these two phenomena are not separate; rather they entail one another, just as object-oriented ontology has been arguing. In so doing, he breaks out of the well-worn contextualization pathways along which recent scholarship on Romanticism has been traveling with all too much security. The Romantics would recognize themselves in Gottlieb's realist, magical mirror.

- Timothy Morton, Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English, Rice University

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