8-23 lecture Goldsmith

8-23 lecture Goldsmith - Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted...

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Oliver Goldsmith, “The Deserted Village” (1770) I: Contexts Historical: Political and economic changes: enclosure and industry --Inclosure Acts (most from 1750-1860) limited traditional communal use-rights --Large landowners the chief beneficiaries --Poor agricultural workers forced off the land into new industries urban proletariat * In poem, Goldsmith renders the rural population of old Auburn as independent owner-workers whose happiness has been destroyed by new laws. Literary: Poem as an intervention in the long traditions of pastoral and georgic poetry --Pastoral: romanticized rural romance; bucolic and undemanding idleness in “Arcadia” --Georgic: name derives from Vergil’s Georgics (29 BCE): poems describing lauding agricultural labor, depicted as necessary and ennobling *How does poem relate to these traditions? --Both recapitulates them through nostalgia and shows them devastated and unworkable as a means of representing the present --What kind of poetry is necessary to describe change?
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8-23 lecture Goldsmith - Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted...

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