front cover of Victorian and Modern Poetics
Victorian and Modern Poetics
Carol T. Christ
University of Chicago Press, 1984

front cover of Victorian Poetry, Europe, and the Challenge of Cosmopolitanism
Victorian Poetry, Europe, and the Challenge of Cosmopolitanism
Christopher M. Keirstead
The Ohio State University Press, 2011

The scope and complexity of the encounter with Europe in Victorian poetry remains largely underappreciated despite recent critical attention to the genre’s global and transnational contexts. Providing much more than colorful settings or a convenient place of self-exile from England, Europe—as destination and idea—formed the basis of a dynamic, evolving form of critical cosmopolitanism much in tune with attempts to theorize the concept today. Christopher M. Keirstead’s Victorian Poetry, Europe, and the Challenge of Cosmopolitanism synthesizes the complex relationship between several notable Victorian poets, including Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, and A. C. Swinburne, and their respective attitudes toward Europe as a cosmopolitan whole. Examining their international relationships and experiences, the monograph explores the ways in which these poets worked to reconcile their emotional and intellectual affinity for world citizenship with their British identity.

This book reveals how a diverse range of poets sought to resituate the form within a broad European political and cultural frame of reference. At the same time, a strong awareness of the difficulties of sustaining genuine, transformative contact between cultures permeates the work of these poets. The challenge of cosmopolitanism thus consisted not only in the threat it posed to entrenched assumptions about what was normative, natural, or universal but also in the challenge cosmopolitanism posed to itself.

front cover of Voegelin Recollected
Voegelin Recollected
Conversations on a Life
Edited by Barry Cooper & Jodi Bruhn
University of Missouri Press, 2007

Although his contributions to philosophy are revered and his writings have been collected, Eric Voegelin’s persona will inevitably fade with the memories of those who knew him. This book preserves the human element of Voegelin by capturing those valuable personal recollections.

            Barry Cooper and Jodi Bruhn conducted intensive interviews with Voegelin’s wife, his closest friends, and his first-generation students—many of whom have since passed on—in order to bring to print everything important about his life and personality. American scholars will especially appreciate the glimpses provided by Voegelin’s German colleagues into his life in Munich, as well as the thoughts of his students in Vienna. Reflections of people such as Paul Caringella, Bruno Schlesinger, and Heinz Barazon capture Voegelin’s greatness and shortcomings alike and also shed new light on his philosophical quest for truth.

By descending progressively further into the past, the book takes readers deeper into the essence of Voegelin as reminiscences become more dramatic. Ranging widely from America back to Germany—with recollections of Gestapo intimidation and eventual emigration—the accounts interweave episodes of pathos, humor, fear, rivalry, and ambition. We witness Voegelin’s persistent and partly self-imposed communication problems and impatience with administrative duties, his respect for prudent political actors and public servants, and his genuine affection not only for his colleagues and best students but also for diligent secretaries and empathetic nurses. Through these recollections, key elements of his personality repeatedly emerge: his intelligence, optimism, and integrity, combined with an acute perception of the significance of his work.

            This is the most revealing and comprehensive biographical work yet available on a man known to be captivating as a thinker—and now shown to be equally fascinating as a human being. His own publications attest to his mind and methods; Voegelin Recollected provides a deeper understanding of the man himself. 


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