Galperin, William H.

Galperin, William H.

The History of Missed Opportunities: British Romanticism and the Emergence of the Everyday

  • Published Date: Stanford University Press, 2017

William H. Galperin


Through close engagement with the work of Wordsworth, Austen, and Byron, The History of Missed Opportunities posits that the everyday first emerged as a distinct category of experience, or first became thinkable, in the Romantic period. Conceived here as something overlooked and only noticed in retrospect, the everyday not only becomes subject matter for Romanticism, it also structures Romantic poetry, prose, and writing habits. Because the everyday is not noticed the first time around, it comes to be thought of as a missed opportunity, a possible world that was not experienced or taken advantage of and of whose history—or lack thereof—writers become acutely conscious.

Consciousness of the everyday also entails a new relationship to time, as the Romantics turn to the history of what might have been. In recounting Romanticism's interest in making things recurrently present, in recovering a past of what was close at hand yet underappreciated, William H. Galperin positions the Romantics as precursors to twentieth-century thinkers of the everyday, including Heidegger, Benjamin, Lefebvre, and Cavell. He attends to Romantic discourse that works at cross purposes with standard accounts of both Romanticism and Romantic subjectivity. Instead of individualizing or turning inward, the Romantics' own discourse depersonalizes or exhibits a confrontation with thing-ness and the material world.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

  • Published Date: Longman, 2008

William H. Galperin (Editor)

51y6ASzSaUL. SX329 BO1204203200 10f75From Longman's Cultural Editions series, Persuasion, edited by Professor William Galperin, presents Jane Austen's classic work along with a critical introduction and contextual materials on and from the period. Published posthumously in 1817 along with the much earlier Northanger Abbey, the novel contains a number of elements that proved puzzling to Austen's nineteenth-centruy readers. The supplementary materials to this Longman Cultural Edition are intended to collabroate with Persuasion in addressing and exploring these interlocking worlds: moral, aesthetic, domestic, political, social, and military.

The Historical Austen

  • Published Date: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003

William H. Galperin

altJane Austen, arguably the most beloved of all English novelists, has been regarded both as a feminist ahead of her time and as a social conservative whose satiric comedies work to regulate rather than to liberate. Neither of these viewpoints, however, takes sufficient stock of the historical Austen, whose writings, as Professor William H. Galperin shows, were more properly oppositional rather than either disciplinary or subversive.

Reading the history of her novels reception through other histories literary, aesthetic, and social Professor Galperin offers a major reassessment of Jane Austen's achievement as well as a corrective to the historical Austen that abides in literary scholarship. In contrast to interpretations that stress the conservative aspects of the realistic tradition that Austen helped to codify, Professor Galperin takes his lead from Austen's contemporaries, who were struck by her detailed attention to the dynamism of everyday life. Noting how the very act of reading demarcates a horizon of possibility at variance with the imperatives of plot and narrative authority, Professor Galperin sees Austen's development as operating in two registers. Although her writings appear to serve the interests of probability in representing things as they are, they remain, as her contemporaries dubbed them, histories of the present, where reality and the prospect of change are continually intertwined. In a series of readings of the six completed novels, in addition to the epistolary Lady Susan and the uncompleted Sanditon, Professor Galperin offers startling new interpretations of these texts, demonstrating the extraordinary awareness that Austen maintained with respect to not only her narrative practice notably, free indirect discourse but also the novel's function as a social and political instrument.

The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism

  • Published Date: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993

William H.Galperin

altIn this path-breaking study Professor William Galperin offers a major revisionist reading of Romanticism that emphasizes the visible - as opposed to visionary - impulse in British Romantic poetry and prose. Employing a wide variety of theoretical insights, Galperin shows not only that the visual impulse is central to an understanding of Romanticism but also that the Romantic preoccupation with the "world seen" forms an integral part of the prehistory of cinema. Professor Galperin challenges the assumption that a single philosophy characterized the art and culture of high Romanticism. Instead, he argues, the culture of the period - both high and low - was a site of competing ideas. From the poetry of Wordsworth and Byron to the painting of John Constable and Caspar David Friedrich to the precinematic institutions of the panorama and the diorama, The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism lends new vigor to ongoing debates about the nature of Romanticism lends new vigor to ongoing debates about the nature of Romanticism, nineteenth-century culture, and the origins of cinema.

Revision and Authority in Wordsworth: The Interpretation of a Career

  • Published Date: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989 

William H. Galperin

altRevision and Authority in Wordsworth: The Interpretation of a Career, Professor Galperin has examined the relationship of canonical Romantic writing to both contemporaneous and contiguous developments in British literature and culture. His study of Wordsworth explores the relationship between the poetry of Wordsworth’s so-called “great decade” and the poet’s middle and later poetry, showing how the later poetry, far from an anticlimax, represents a sharply critical engagement with the poet’s overtly Romantic writings and the hierarchies they install.