Speculative realism is one of the most exciting, influential and controversial new branches of philosophy to emerge in recent years. Now, Evan Gottlieb shows that the speculative realism movement bears striking a resemblance to the ideas and beliefs of the best-known British poets of the Romantic era. Romantic Realities analyses the parallels and echoes between the ideas of the most influential contemporary practitioners of speculative realism and the poetry and poetics of the most innovative Romantic poets. In doing so, it introduces you to the intellectual precedents and contemporary stakes of speculative realism, together with new understandings of the philosophical underpinnings and far-reaching insights of British Romanticism. Readings include: The poetry and poetics of Wordsworth in relation to Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology and Timothy Morton’s dark ecology Coleridge’s poems and ideas in relation to Ray Brassier’s philosophical nihilism and Iain Hamilton Grant’s revisionist readings of Schelling Shelley’s oeuvre in relation to Quentin Meillassoux’s radical immanentism and Manuel DeLanda’s process ontology Byron’s best-known poems in relation to Alain Badiou’s truth procedures and Bruno Latour’s actor-network-theory Keats’ oeuvre in relation to Levi Bryant’s onticology and Ian Bogost’s alien phenomenology ; Romantic Realities analyses the parallels and echoes between the ideas of the most influential contemporary practitioners of speculative realism and the poetry and poetics of the most innovative Romantic poets. ; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1: Wordsworth and Object-Oriented Philosophy; 2: Coleridge, Nature-Philosophy, and Process Ontology; 3: Byron, Actor-Network Theory, and Truth Procedures; 4: Shelley, Nihilism, and Speculative Materialism; 5: Keats, Vital Materialism, and Flat Ontology; Conclusion. ; Acknowledgments Series Editor’s Preface Introduction 1. Wordsworth and Object-Oriented Philosophy 2. Coleridge, Nature-Philosophy and Process Ontology 3. Byron, Actor-Network-Theory and Truth Procedures 4. Shelley, Nihilism and Speculative Materialism 5. Keats, Vital Materialism and Flat Ontology Conclusion Index
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It was only a matter of time before literary criticism caught up with speculative realism. And, counter-intuitive as it may sound, Romanticism is an ideal starting place. Evan Gottlieb's fine study shows how these two phenomena are not separate; rather they entail one another, just as object-oriented ontology has been arguing. In so doing, he breaks out of the well-worn contextualization pathways along which recent scholarship on Romanticism has been traveling with all too much security. The Romantics would recognize themselves in Gottlieb's realist, magical mirror.
Evan Gottlieb is Professor of English at Oregon State University. He is the author of Romantic Globalism: British Literature and Modern World Order (Ohio State UP, 2014), Walter Scott and Contemporary Theory (Bloomsbury, 2013) and Feeling British: Sympathy and National Identity in Scottish and English Writing 1707-1832 (Bucknell University Press, 2007). He is editor of Global Romanticism: Origins, Orientations, and Engagements, 1760-1820 (Bucknell UP, 2015) and a new Norton Critical Edition of Tobias Smollett's The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (2nd ed., WW Norton, 2015). He is co-editor, with Juliet Shields, of Representing Place in British Literature and Culture, 1660-1830: From Local to Global (Ashgate, 2013) and, with Ian Duncan, of Approaches to Teaching Scott’s Waverley Novels (MLA, 2009).