Literary Tourism and Nineteenth-Century Culture by N. Watson

By N. Watson

This booklet deals either an creation to the colourful box of literary tourism experiences and a variety of state-of-the-art cross-disciplinary examine. quintessential for college students and students of nineteenth-century literature and tradition, it offers attention-grabbing insights into the reception of, among others, Shakespeare, Dickens, Byron and Wordsworth.

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Taking souvenirs from the grave also implies its inverse – leaving a trace of the visitor’s presence, through the often visible absence of what has been taken. Reciprocally, when pilgrims leave flowers, wreaths, and other tributes inscribing their presence, something is also taken away – the capacity of other visitors to fantasise that they are in sole imaginative possession of the grave and the poet. I want to use this presence/absence figure to think through the literally rare but symbolically ubiquitous phenomenon of graffito at the grave, the signing of the visitor’s name on or close to the poet’s monument.

Reciprocally, when pilgrims leave flowers, wreaths, and other tributes inscribing their presence, something is also taken away – the capacity of other visitors to fantasise that they are in sole imaginative possession of the grave and the poet. I want to use this presence/absence figure to think through the literally rare but symbolically ubiquitous phenomenon of graffito at the grave, the signing of the visitor’s name on or close to the poet’s monument. Derrida’s account of the ‘enigmatic originality’ of signature suggests the aura typically attributed to autograph in the nineteenth century: [A] written signature implies the actual or empirical nonpresence of the signer.

A footnote reveals that Wilde’s determination to aestheticise Keats’s grave has a particular environment stimulus, since ‘some well-meaning persons’ (for which read wrong-headed philistines) had recently erected a memorial slab on a nearby wall, with a medallion-profile representing Keats’s face as ‘ugly, and rather hatchet-shaped, with thick, sensual lips’, accompanied by ‘some mediocre lines of poetry’. Wilde replaces the ugly portrait (marginalised to the footnote, where he hopes this ‘marble libel’ will be removed) and inadequate grave with his own aestheticised symbolic fantasy: As I stood beside the mean grave of this divine boy, I thought of him as a Priest of Beauty slain before his time; and the vision of Guido’s St.

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