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Fictionalising the Romantic Marketplace: Self-reflexivity in the Early-Nineteenth-Century Frame Tale


Ittensohn, Mark (2017). Fictionalising the Romantic Marketplace: Self-reflexivity in the Early-Nineteenth-Century Frame Tale. Victoriographies, 7(1):25-41.

Abstract

The following paper presents the frame tale as a particular genre of early-nineteenth-century literature that openly negotiated the late Romantic period's displaced correspondence between imaginative production and the economic market. The frame tale is best described as a type of narrative fiction that consists of a frame story (such as a storytelling session) in which multiple sub-narratives in a network of reciprocal exchange are embedded. By discussing two frame tales by the Scottish author James Hogg, the following analysis will show how the resurgence of this particular genre in the early nineteenth century is indicative of Romantic literature's active interest in discussing the relations between literary and economic signification. In this reading, the frame tale emerges as a prime indicator of Romanticism's ghostly link between literature and the marketplace. In both The Queen's Wake (1813/1819) and the Three Perils of Man (1822), Hogg conjures intricate fictional spaces of reciprocity as mirrors of the print market in which these texts were themselves published. By means of a mise-en-abyme of narrative exchange, Hogg's frame tales bridge the gap between literature and economics in a way that illuminates both the economics of literature and the literariness of economy in the early nineteenth century.

Abstract

The following paper presents the frame tale as a particular genre of early-nineteenth-century literature that openly negotiated the late Romantic period's displaced correspondence between imaginative production and the economic market. The frame tale is best described as a type of narrative fiction that consists of a frame story (such as a storytelling session) in which multiple sub-narratives in a network of reciprocal exchange are embedded. By discussing two frame tales by the Scottish author James Hogg, the following analysis will show how the resurgence of this particular genre in the early nineteenth century is indicative of Romantic literature's active interest in discussing the relations between literary and economic signification. In this reading, the frame tale emerges as a prime indicator of Romanticism's ghostly link between literature and the marketplace. In both The Queen's Wake (1813/1819) and the Three Perils of Man (1822), Hogg conjures intricate fictional spaces of reciprocity as mirrors of the print market in which these texts were themselves published. By means of a mise-en-abyme of narrative exchange, Hogg's frame tales bridge the gap between literature and economics in a way that illuminates both the economics of literature and the literariness of economy in the early nineteenth century.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:March 2017
Deposited On:12 Apr 2017 15:41
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 07:50
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
ISSN:2044-2424
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3366/vic.2017.0256

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