This paper, conceived within the framework of a project that aims to shed light on under-scrutinised poetic practices and practitioners in Elizabethan England, explores the relationship between precept and practice regarding the figure of aposiopesis in 16th-century English poetry.
By comparing its codification and use in the Elizabethan era with that of other periods as well as other European countries, I seek better to understand the place of this and other similar figures of poetic ineloquence in a literary culture generally defined by its predilection for rhetorical artificiality and ornament.
Through the experience of one man, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, accurately depicts the historical record of slave life in its descriptions of the often brutal and quixotic relationship between master and slave and of the fragmentation of slave families.
Measurements of the frequency of a single word in a single text, or in thousands of texts, operate at extremes of scale.
In doing so, it must ask new questions about the nature of what it studies and how computational results are compatible with the established practices of literary criticism.
This essay poses these questions through a quantitative analysis of English dramatic history.These analyses demand new kinds of abstraction:ones that can take into account minute effects in single texts...more Measurements of the frequency of a single word in a single text, or in thousands of texts, operate at extremes of scale.Russian formalism is a literary approach that emerged in Russia in the early 20th century.The formalist approach sees the literary work as a closed mechanism in itself.Drawing on the dual revolution as a concept definitive to histories of the nineteenth century (Hobsbawm, Osterhammel), I argue that the Victorian industrial novel anticipates this concept and accommodates it as a peculiar narrative...more Drawing on the dual revolution as a concept definitive to histories of the nineteenth century (Hobsbawm, Osterhammel), I argue that the Victorian industrial novel anticipates this concept and accommodates it as a peculiar narrative intelligence.And, how can the patterns of similarity and difference revealed by the quantitative measurement of these abstractions be reconciled to our already extensive critical understanding of English drama?Among the many colourful descriptions George Puttenham provided for classical rhetorical figures in his The Arte of English Poesie (1589), one of the more eye-catching was his translation of aposiopesis, which he vernacularised into 'the...Puttenham was not alone in highlighting the uniquely performative value of this rhetorical figure, as many of the rhetorical and poetic treatises written in 16th-century England also expound on the effectiveness of aposiopesis to artificially convey natural ineloquence.That said, despite its relative prominence and endorsement in these theoretical manuals, aposiopesis rarely makes a presence in Elizabethan verse, and almost never with the purpose Puttenham and his contemporaries ascribed to it.