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- DescriptionDuring the Romantic era, especially in Italy, performers kwn as improvvisatori and improvvisatrici extemporised poetry in public in response to subjects requested by their audiences. This type of performance fascinated Grand Tourists from rthern Europe, who reported on poetic improvisers in hundreds of travel accounts, journals, letters, and periodical articles. By uncovering historical data and interpreting literary texts, Professor Esterhammer identifies patterns in the evolving responses of English, German, French, and Russian writers to the experience of improvisation. She explores how improvisation interacts with Romantic ideas about genius, spontaneity, orality, and emotional expressiveness, and relates to evolving concepts of gender and nation. Esterhammer goes on to interpret the influence that the figure of the poetic improviser had in nineteenth-century English and European fiction. In this context, the improvvisatore casts new light on conflicts between poetic genius and socio-ecomic constraints, and on the evolution of the Bildungsroman.
- Author BiographyAngela Esterhammer is Professor in the Department of English, University of Zurich and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Western Ontario. Previous books include Romantic Poetry. The Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages (edited, 2002) and The Romantic Performative: Language and Action in British and German Romanticism (2000).
- Author(s)Angela Esterhammer
- PublisherCambridge University Press
- Date of Publication07/08/2008
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Series TitleCambridge Studies in Romanticism
- Series Part/Volume NumberNo. 77
- Place of PublicationCambridge
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintCambridge University Press
- Content Note17 b/w illus.
- Weight560 g
- Width152 mm
- Height228 mm
- Spine17 mm
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