TitleEverywhere and nowhere
NameVareschi, Mark (author), Kramnick, Jonathan (chair), McKeon, Michael (internal member), Festa, Lynn (internal member), Griffin, Robert (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectLiteratures in English,
Anonymous writings, English--History and criticism,
English literature--History and criticism
DescriptionAnonymity has a vexed place in the study of English literature. In the field of eighteenth-century literature nearly every work we study was anonymous in its first publication. Nonetheless, named authorship is often a key component in assuring a work’s canonicity; with few exceptions, works that remain anonymous are rarely taught or read. Indeed, we have difficulty conceiving of literary criticism without the author’s name as an organizing principle. The study of anonymity has thus focused less on anonymity as an object of inquiry than as a mystery to be solved or as the condition of textuality or a social condition within modernity. Each approach, however useful, does not account for the phenomenon of anonymous publication itself. My dissertation explores anonymous publication within the long eighteenth century. I examine both literary and non-literary texts to understand the cultural and literary role anonymous texts occupied within the print culture of the eighteenth century and how, increasingly, readers and publishers acknowledged anonymous texts as different from those with named authors. The distinction between named and anonymous texts I argue is central to the formation of the canon of eighteenth-century literature, in which anonymous texts are either recuperated through authorial attribution or disregarded as ephemera. Crucially, once this separation occurs, anonymous publication persists, but it does so largely unnoticed; the acknowledgment of anonymity as a distinct category of authorship coincides with its disappearance in literary history.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Mark Vareschi
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.