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Puzzling the Reader: Riddles in Nineteenth-Century British Literature

Puzzling the Reader: Riddles in Nineteenth-Century British Literature (Hardback)

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Puzzling the Reader establishes the place of charms and riddles in nineteenth-century British literature by exploring the literary and political work riddles performed at cultural thresholds: courtship, initiation, death rituals, moments of greeting, and intercultural relations. Furthermore, Puzzling the Reader investigates the new narrative genre that riddles uncover by transforming traditional narrative techniques. Far from disappearing from view, the oral tradition of the riddles rises into view alongside the literary narratives of William Blake, John Keats, and Charles Dickens. The folk tradition of the riddle is imported into print media and reaches its zenith in the nineteenth century. Through analyses of riddles in weekly literature and satire magazines, parlor game books, and popular collected riddles, such as Queen Victoria's "Windsor Enigma", this volume examines the literary and political roles riddles play as they migrate into mass print culture. Three crucial texts illustrate this argument: Blake's "Jerusalem", Keats's "The Eve of St. Agnes", and Dickens's Our Mutual Friend. Each is a work of formal experimentation and each typifies the full range of word play in the period. From Blake to Keats to Dickens, nineteenth-century British literature charts a "history" of the literary riddle.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: c 1800 to c 1900History & PoliticsPhilosophy, Psychology & Social Sciences Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc Publication Date: 30/06/2008 ISBN-13: 9781433101427  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

The Author: Gregg Hecimovich received a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of Austen's Emma: A Reader's Guide (2008) and the editor of an edition of Anthony Trollope's Phineas Redux (2003). Hecimovich is the recipient of the 2006 University of North Carolina Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award, the 2006 East Carolina University Scholar-Teacher Award in the Humanities, and the 2005 ECU English Department Bertie Fearing Excellence in Teaching Award. He is Associate Professor of English at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

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