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Download Carlyle and the Economics of Terror: A Study of Revisionary by Mary Desaulniers PDF

By Mary Desaulniers

Carlyle's tricky and imprecise prose as usually been interpreted as a mirrored image of the author's temperament or idiosyncracies. Mary Desaulniers, despite the fact that, argues that Carlyle's language is a planned method for revisioning language and locations it inside of an "economics" of illustration. via situating his prose in the gothic culture with its heritage of resistance to linguistic transparency, Desaulniers makes the declare that during the French revolution, Carlyle makes use of revisionary Gothicism as a linguistic car for monetary and political matters. utilizing Aristotle's "Oikonomia" to set up a paradigm of wholeness and real engagement, Desaulniers argues that Carlyle returns language to fabric wholeness by means of insisting on situating signal inside illustration in order that the materiality of the signal isn't really surrendered to the assumption imposed on it. via concentrating on interpreting as an act of structure in the French revolution, she situates the political trouble inside a linguistic one - the structure turns into either a thematic and self-reflective constituent of the linguistic procedure. Desauliniers concentrates on Carlyle's use of Gothic conventions and attracts upon such texts as Goethe's "Faust" and the Gothic romances of Maturin and Lewis. by way of constructing the French Revolution as a precursor to Browning's "Sordello", she establishes that the "economics" of illustration continues to be a pivotal 19th-century linguistic procedure.

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Additional resources for Carlyle and the Economics of Terror: A Study of Revisionary Gothicism in the French Revolution

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The economic dimension in Mephistopheles' negation emerges in Faust's description of this negation as "retail" destruction: "You can't achieve wholesale destruction / and so you've started out at retail" (2:1360-1). Mephistopheles' raillery against the intervention of light is symptomatic of a strong resistance to a dialectical third term: I'm part of the Part that first was all part of the Darkness that gave birth to Light proud Light, that now contests the senior rank of Mother Night, disputes her rights to space; yet it does not succeed, however much it strives, because it can't escape material fetters.

At this moment, Matthew steps in, pays Peter the thousand pounds, and discharges the bond. In this case, no man would hesitate to admit, that a complete satisfaction had been made to Peter. Matthew's £1000 is a perfect equivalence for the sum which James was bound to have paid and which Peter had lent. It is the same thing, and this is altogether a question of things. (Works, 1:314) The question of metaphor is not only a question of things; it is a question of the mechanics of a money economy. The equivalence understood in Matthew's payment of debt is unequivocally clear and 27 Carlyle and the Economics of Terror straightforward.

It is this transitive nature of the metaphor, its convenient "synonimization" with equivalent terms, its reduction to arbitrary and current figures of speech that Coleridge singles out to be problematic in metaphors. In his bracketed mathematical declension of the transcendent X, Coleridge parodies the reductionism that the "equating" factor in similitudes and metaphors imposes on language: "Now let X signify 26 Carlyle and the Economics of Terror a transcendent, that is, a cause beyond our comprehension, and not within the sphere of sensible experience; and, on the other hand, let A, B, C and D represent each one known and familiar cause, in reference to some single and characteristic effect: namely A in reference to k, B to 1, C to m and D to n.

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