Literature and Moral Reform: Melville and the Discipline of Reading
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BeschreibungBy delineating the connections between nineteenth-century penitentiary reforms and the narrative structures and strategies of Herman Melville's fictions, this book explores the ways literature reflects and refracts ideas about the influence of reading on moral rehabilitation. The author shows that Melville, who engaged often and profoundly with reform issues, reacted against the reading-as-discipline approach recommended by penal reformers.Carol Colatrella's approach is highly original not only in its historicizing of Melville's treatment of penitentiaries, reform, and rehabilitation of moral character but in its consideration of reading in relation to reform. Her book is the first to explore the ideological, literary, and rhetorical relationships of fictional narrative, authors, law, and social institutions to disciplinary literacy and to theories of readership.No other study so richly connects thematic and cultural analyses to evaluate how Melville's narrative strategies challenge 19th-century ideas of social injustice, particularly stereotypes of class, ethnicity, and deviance. Colatrella has done so with exceptional erudition, and in detail. For example, noting Melville's deep interest in reforming patriarchal systems, she shows how reform-movement women's writings function as intertexts to Melville's personal writings and literary works. Colatrella situates each of Melville's fictions in relationship to sociopolitical forces, demonstrating how they reconfigure narrative themes and strategies related to 19th-century ideas about moral rehabilitation and reading. The result is a book that encourages its readers to think differently, not just about Melville, but also about thecomplex relationship among authors, readers, and cultural contexts/sociopolitical forces.
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: UNIV PR OF FLORIDA
Erscheinungsdatum: Dezember 2002
Seitenanzahl: 352 Seiten