A Lover's Complaint: A Poem (HarperPerennial Classics) by William Shakespeare

By William Shakespeare

A tender girl tells of her seduction and abandoment through a tender guy who proves to be unworthy of her appeal and wonder.

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Sample text

Something remote from us and something that is getting even more distant’’ (Benjamin, ‘‘The Storyteller,’’ p. 83). ’’ They ‘‘make their appearance in the remotest times,’’ he continues, and ‘‘some of them . . cannot any more shew themselves in this world’’ (On Heroes, p. 133). Thus he, too, describes modernity as loss, absence, cessation – in other words, as disenchantment. Yet, having made this point, Carlyle proceeds to argue that it is possible for modern writing, even print produced for the marketplace, to become heroic when it presents itself as a prophetic voice.

At any given moment during the nineteenth century, many different forms of voice struggled and interacted with English print culture. By turning ‘‘speech’’ into a place-holder for rational debate, Habermas renders it monolithic and homogeneous. He inevitably simplifies speech, so intent is he on proving its turn from good to bad. But speech in the nineteenth century can no more be reduced to critical debate and rational conversation than print culture can be reduced to essays in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine.

The repeated murder of a storyteller or a doomed speaker, a figure that Victorian fiction in fact conjured up to authenticate itself, is the curious tropology by which fiction after Dickens lays claim to the authority to forge communities where mechanization had silenced speakers. A VOICE IN WRITING I argue in this book that the Victorian novel indicates in many different ways that there must be a speaker – who is, paradoxically, at once a pathetic ‘‘poor, crushed, human creature’’ and irresistibly powerful and charismatic – at Mythologies of the storyteller 29 the origin of its language.

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