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Impure researches, or literature, marketing and aesthesis. The case of Ouida's "Dog of Flanders" (1871-today)

Impure researches, or literature, marketing and aesthesis. The case of Ouida's "Dog of Flanders" (1871-today)

King, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0003-2348-4231 (2016) Impure researches, or literature, marketing and aesthesis. The case of Ouida's "Dog of Flanders" (1871-today). English Literature, 2 (2). pp. 359-382. ISSN 2420-823X (doi:https://doi.org/10.14277/2420-823X/EL-2-2-15-10)

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Abstract

‘Impure researches’ are those that mix methodologies and types of data, and in particular remind readers that reading is an impure bodily as well as mental experience. The article argues that if we neglect how our perception of the material format of a text affects our understanding, we stand to risk being blind to how a text comprises the ever increasing sum of the history of its sensuous presentation and perception. It takes as a case study the publication history of Ouida’s most popular short story, «A Dog of Flanders» (1871). The story has uniformly been defined as a children’s story from the late twentieth century onwards, yet this labelling is a result of marketing decisions that arose in the 1890s which affected the material format the story appeared in and thereafter the interpretative choices of critics and readers in general. By polluting both literary and book history through my own corporeal encounters with various material forms of this text, I am seeking to exemplify, in an iterable, practical way, claims by feminist and queer critics whose «return to the body» risks at times appearing immaterial and generic.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dog of Flanders; Materiality of reading; Ouida, Print History; Reading; Children's literature; Gift book
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Literature, Language & Theatre
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 19 May 2019 18:21
Selected for GREAT 2016: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 4
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/14660

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