G creature of real dimensions is THAT OF THE WHOLE PRECEDES knowledge of the whole precedes of the parts his contrast suggests that is at stake in this mode of characterization is the materializing of a new sort of social whole that new mode of characterization is the materializing of a new sort of social whole that new that the 18th century invented to conceptualize persons interconnectedness Mid century narratives make it easy for their protagonists to change places with or to be mistaken for others They tend Lynch notes to emphasize the generalizability or typicality that endows the protagonist with his ability to describe the social world s connectedness Lynch fails to notice the way British literature outside her period from Spencer to Dickens has done the same thing to lesser and greater extents In the 18th century to think about such nobodys is also to think about a cartographic instrument made to map the social order from its lower depths to the very heights to which the most ambitious aspired she cites James the Old Pretender here Such circulating protagonists giver readers the wherewithal to conceptualize society as a whole Part II Inside StoriesLangbaum defines round characters in 1957 as those that have a residue of intelligence and will that exceeds the reuirements of the plot and that cannot be accounted for by it 124 Lynch reads the expanded inner life of literary characters the psychological depth of the new style of novel as an artifact of a new form of self culture and as the mechanism of a new mode of class awareness She reminds us of the conventions that guide our Romantic interpretative practices today in which no matter how sensitive it is no character reading can ever exhaust the meanings of an interiority which it is understood has slipped beneath the surface of words This postulate of a depth that can never finally be sounded ensured that aesthetic dispositions would receive repeated and regular workouts exercises that would eventually help distinguish them in a newly arranged economy of prestige Finally Lynch finishes off part II with chapters on Burney focusing on Camilla and The Wanderer and Auste. A culture of mass consumption argues Lynch possessing a belief in the inexpressible interior life of a character rendered one's property truly privateRanging from Defoe and Smollett to Burney and Austen Lynch's account will interest students of the novel literary historians and anyone concerned with the inner workings of consumer culture and the history of emotions.
Deidre Shauna Lynch ´ 0 summaryLynch complicates the line between the social and individual arguing that character s depth is an illusion born of Romantic reading practices For Lynch readers use characters to reflect upon and define their own interiority in much the same way consumers use shopping as a way
to refine one s taste and thus define one s self Lynch anticipates scholars such as Alan Palmerrefine one s taste and thus define one s self Lynch anticipates scholars such as Alan Palmer Alex Woloch while also refusing overly simplistic histories of the novel that stage the development of the novel on the ground of flat 18th century characters blooming into round 19th century characters In this book Lynch retells the story of Britons relations to the imaginary people they encountered in books refusing to tell the history of character in terms of the history of verisimilitude and individualism Instead Lynch focuses on what she calls a pragmatics of character investigating the ways in which 18th century writers and readers used character to renegotiate social relations in THEIR CHANGED COMMERCIALIZED WORLD A WORLD OF MOVING OBJECTS changed commercialized world a world of moving objects which new forms of imagining and enforcing social division were reuisite She argues that the Romantic valuation of round realistic psychologically complex characters is historically specific and that to regard such characters as the most real is to commemorate the values of a handful of Romantic critics and canon makers By focusing on a pragmatics of character Lynch reveals how ualities such as interiority and literariness are socially constructed and offers a post romantic way of considering mid 18th century literature and readers Lynch refuses to participate in the historical na vet that lets one forget that characters do anything other than represent Characterization for Lynch also serves a social function memorializing institutionally sanctioned versions of what the self is or should be Part I The Economies of Characteristic WritingNeoclassical Theory Clashes with Lockean Empiricism In the first part of her book Lynch sets out to reconstruct the vantage point from which people who did not yet think of their reading in te. At the start of the eighteenth century talk of literary characters referred as much to letters and typefaces as it did to persons in books Yet by the nineteenth century characters had become the euals of their readers friends with whom readers might spend time and empathizeAlthough the story of this shift is usually told in terms of the rise of the individual Deidre. ,
Rms dictated by modern generic conceptions of literature read She writes that she wants to understand the so called novels of the early to mid 18th centuries as artifacts of the era s typographical culture She cites Locke s notion of the newborn mind as white Paper void of all Characters without any ideas in order to underscore an any ideas in order to underscore an that links the getting of ideas the techniues of typography and the process of individuation Locke of course sought to refine language to develop a vocabulary that could describe reality Precisely Drawn In A Drawn in a manner to refinement practitioners of characteristic writing pursued the singularity that could not be coined within existing systems of names and categories they also pursued a comprehensive truer account of a diversifying population and a diversifying human nature On the other hand Lynch shows how such particularity was looked down on as vulgar and frivolous by neoclassical literary artistic and theatrical theorists alike all of which valued discrete strokes Lynch pays particular attention to Hogarth and Garrick here High art set about defining itself in contradistinction to popular and amateur art by identifying itself with an ideal of pictorial abstemiousness and identifying others with excess Thus members of the Royal Academy of Art insisted vehemently in the last four decades of the century that real art depended on the artist s getting above singular forms local customs and particularities Characters of CirculationComplaints that a Fielding or Smollett protagonist is insufficiently characterized that he lacks individuality miss the point To a degree this character is supposed to be a means for producing a sense of social context rather than the social context counting as a means for producing our sense of character this character is the prosthetic device that enables readers to apprehend the comprehensive impersonal systems that bind them together 87 Claude Levi Strauss has remarked that what happens when we consider miniatures in contrast to what happens when we try to understand a livin. Shauna Lynch proposes an ingenious alternative interpretation Elaborating a pragmatics of character Lynch shows how readers used transactions with characters to accommodate themselves to newly commercialized social relations Searching for the inner meanings of characters allowed readers both to plumb their own inwardness and to distinguish themselves from others In.