Richardson and Fielding: The Dynamics of a Critical Rivalry

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Bucknell University Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 264 pages
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"Richardson and Fielding: The Dynamics of a Critical Rivalry is the first book-length study of one of literature's most persistent and influential rivalries. Using an adaptation of Hans Jauss's reception theory, it surveys the recurring dichotomies projected onto Richardson and Fielding by all types of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century readers. Even when the rival is not mentioned directly, readers usually make it pointedly clear that one author is being privileged at the other's expense." "Even apart from its serious implications for literary history, the story of the Richardson/Fielding rivalry is a fascinating source of critical passions, prejudices, scholarly irresponsibility, wit, and often surprising interrelations between the literary tastes and cultural environments of the day."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Reception Theory
The Eighteenth Century Shamela to Richardsons Correspondence 17411804
The Nineteenth Century Richardsons Correspondence to The Saturday Review 18041893
The Twentieth Century Raleighs The English Novel to Watts The Rise of the Novel 18941957

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Page 69 - life: Why, Sir, it is of very low life. Richardson used to say, that had he not known who Fielding was, he should have believed he was an ostler. Sir, there is more knowledge of the heart in one letter of Richardson's, than in all "Tom Jones." I, indeed, never read "Joseph Andrews.
Page 110 - What a keen, laughing, hair-brained vein of home-felt truth! What choice venom! How often did we cut into the haunch of letters, while we discussed the haunch of mutton on the table! How we skimmed the cream of criticism! How we got into the heart of controversy! How we picked out the marrow of authors!
Page 39 - [W]e must admonish thee, my worthy friend, (for, perhaps, thy heart may be better than thy head) not to condemn a character as a bad one, because it is not perfectly a good one. If thou dost delight in these models of perfection, there are books enow written to gratify thy taste.
Page 69 - Well might a critical judge of writing say, as he did to me, that your late brother's knowledge of it was not (fine writer as he was) comparable to your's. His was but as the knowledge of the outside of a clock-work machine, while your's was that of all the finer springs and movements of the inside.
Page 39 - [N]or do I, indeed, conceive the good purposes served by inserting characters of such angelic perfection, or such diabolical depravity, in any work of invention: since from contemplating either, the mind of man is more likely to be overwhelmed with sorrow and shame, than to draw any good uses from such patterns.
Page 69 - that there was as great a difference between [Richardson and Fielding] as between a man who knew how a watch was made, and a man who could tell the hour by looking on the dial-plate.
Page 114 - there was as great a difference between [Richardson and Fielding] as between a man who knew how a watch was made, and a man who could tell the hour by looking on the dial-plate.
Page 71 - an author from whom the age has received greater favours, who has enlarged the knowledge of human nature, and taught the passions to move at the command of virtue.
Page 105 - could not do otherwise than laugh at the puny, cockney bookseller, pouring out endless volumes of sentimental twaddle, and hold him up to scorn as a moll-coddle and a milksop. His genius had been nursed on sack-posset, and not on dishes of tea.
Page 218 - There have been men indeed splendidly wicked, whose endowments throw a brightness on their crimes, and whom scarce any villainy made perfectly detestable, because they never could be wholly divested of their excellencies; but such have been in all ages the great corrupters of the world, and their resemblance ought no more to be preserved than the art of murdering without pain.

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