Jonathan Sachs (Concordia U), "On Wordsworth: Romantic Ruins and the Unevenness of Time"
FEB 08, 2013 | 4:00 PM TO 6:00 PM
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
4406: English Student Lounge
February 08, 2013: 4:00 PM-6:00 PM
Ruins are well-trodden critical territory, and a range of distinct but complementary theories have been put forward seeking to explain their fascination. Using Wordsworth's "The Ruined Cottage" as its main point of reference, this paper argues that the Romantic cult of ruins is not about assigning a specific meaning to the temporality of ruin, nor about insisting that the ruin reveals a specific relationship to time. Instead, the Romantic ruin is about experiencing the incommensurability of multiple temporalities; it serves as an index for a series of new relationships to the future that emerges in the later eighteenth century.