Formalist Cultural Criticism and the Post-Restoration Periodical

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Examining the tendency in eighteenth-century periodical studies to focus on the genre's referential elements, its supposed reproduction of the material reality of English society, this article attends to formal aspects of Addison's and Steele's essays that call into question these historicist claims. By ignoring the performative and self-allegorizing dimensions of the periodical, critics have perpetuated the essayists' promotional image of themselves as enacting values idealized in neoliberal public-sphere discourses: most especially the Habermasian notion that media culture(s) should enable politically consequential, egalitarian debate in a way that responds to the self-generated demands of consumers. Formalist attention to the question-and-answer periodical reveals the extent to which these values were deployed as rhetorics for mediating the contradiction between early Enlightenment theories of inclusive participation in print culture and the ongoing practices of exclusion and inequality that condition the production and reception of the very texts that articulate such theories.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-250
Number of pages24
JournalPhilological Quarterly
Volume86
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007

Fingerprint

cultural criticism
restoration
media culture
eighteenth century
Values
critic
genre
rhetoric
exclusion
participation
discourse
Formalist
Restoration
Cultural Criticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • History

Cite this

Formalist Cultural Criticism and the Post-Restoration Periodical. / Pollock, Anthony.

In: Philological Quarterly, Vol. 86, No. 3, 06.2007, p. 227-250.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{64c0d81807cb4372a25e1c176473f88a,
title = "Formalist Cultural Criticism and the Post-Restoration Periodical",
abstract = "Examining the tendency in eighteenth-century periodical studies to focus on the genre's referential elements, its supposed reproduction of the material reality of English society, this article attends to formal aspects of Addison's and Steele's essays that call into question these historicist claims. By ignoring the performative and self-allegorizing dimensions of the periodical, critics have perpetuated the essayists' promotional image of themselves as enacting values idealized in neoliberal public-sphere discourses: most especially the Habermasian notion that media culture(s) should enable politically consequential, egalitarian debate in a way that responds to the self-generated demands of consumers. Formalist attention to the question-and-answer periodical reveals the extent to which these values were deployed as rhetorics for mediating the contradiction between early Enlightenment theories of inclusive participation in print culture and the ongoing practices of exclusion and inequality that condition the production and reception of the very texts that articulate such theories.",
author = "Anthony Pollock",
year = "2007",
month = "6",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "86",
pages = "227--250",
journal = "Philological Quarterly",
issn = "0031-7977",
publisher = "University of Iowa",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Formalist Cultural Criticism and the Post-Restoration Periodical

AU - Pollock, Anthony

PY - 2007/6

Y1 - 2007/6

N2 - Examining the tendency in eighteenth-century periodical studies to focus on the genre's referential elements, its supposed reproduction of the material reality of English society, this article attends to formal aspects of Addison's and Steele's essays that call into question these historicist claims. By ignoring the performative and self-allegorizing dimensions of the periodical, critics have perpetuated the essayists' promotional image of themselves as enacting values idealized in neoliberal public-sphere discourses: most especially the Habermasian notion that media culture(s) should enable politically consequential, egalitarian debate in a way that responds to the self-generated demands of consumers. Formalist attention to the question-and-answer periodical reveals the extent to which these values were deployed as rhetorics for mediating the contradiction between early Enlightenment theories of inclusive participation in print culture and the ongoing practices of exclusion and inequality that condition the production and reception of the very texts that articulate such theories.

AB - Examining the tendency in eighteenth-century periodical studies to focus on the genre's referential elements, its supposed reproduction of the material reality of English society, this article attends to formal aspects of Addison's and Steele's essays that call into question these historicist claims. By ignoring the performative and self-allegorizing dimensions of the periodical, critics have perpetuated the essayists' promotional image of themselves as enacting values idealized in neoliberal public-sphere discourses: most especially the Habermasian notion that media culture(s) should enable politically consequential, egalitarian debate in a way that responds to the self-generated demands of consumers. Formalist attention to the question-and-answer periodical reveals the extent to which these values were deployed as rhetorics for mediating the contradiction between early Enlightenment theories of inclusive participation in print culture and the ongoing practices of exclusion and inequality that condition the production and reception of the very texts that articulate such theories.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77953719921&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77953719921&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:77953719921

VL - 86

SP - 227

EP - 250

JO - Philological Quarterly

JF - Philological Quarterly

SN - 0031-7977

IS - 3

ER -