In Association with the toronto centre for the book
What does it mean to collect oneself, as opposed to waiting for posterity to do the work of preparing one’s works after death? In this talk I’ll be exploring the bibliographic practices that characterize self-collection, asking why writers – especially poets – of the romantic period increasingly turned to reprinting as a means of fashioning and repackaging their works. What did such assembled literary corpuses look like and why? And how does self-collection differ from the activities of literary executors, those explicitly authorized gatherers, architects, and embalmers of the literary career?
Michael Gamer is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of Romanticism and the Gothic: Genre, Reception, and Canon Formation (Cambridge, 2000), and editor of Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto (Penguin, 2002) and Charlotte Smith’sManon L’Escaut and the Romance of Real Life (Pickering and Chatto, 2005). He has also published essays in MLQ, PMLA, Novel, ELH,Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Studies in Romanticism, and other journals on poetic collections, the novel, pornography, print culture, authorship, and dramas of spectacle. One of these (“Mary Robinson and the Dramatic Art of the Comeback,” co-authored with Terry Robinson) was awarded the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association prize for best article in 2010. He works on collaboration and is fond of collaborative work: with Jeffrey Cox he edited The Broadview Anthology of Romantic Drama (Broadview, 2003); and, with Dahlia Porter, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads 1798 and 1800 (Broadview, 2008). He is recipient of the Ira Abrams, Lindback, and College of General Studies awards for distinguished teaching.