By Kent Puckett
What--other than embarrassment--could one wish to realize from lengthy publicity to the social mistake? Why imagine a lot approximately what many would favor just to fail to remember? In Bad shape: Social blunders and the Nineteenth-Century Novel, Kent Puckett argues that no matter what its awkwardness, the social mistake-the blunder, the gaffe, the pretend pas-is a determine of severe value to the nineteenth-century novel. whereas supplying major new readings of Thackeray, Flaubert, Eliot, James, and others, Puckett indicates how the vintage realist novel achieves its coherence due to minor error that novels either signify and make. whereas uncovering the nineteenth-century novel's continual social and structural reliance at the non-catastrophic mistake-eating peas together with your knife, announcing the incorrect factor, overdressing-Bad shape argues that the novel's as soon as substantial cultural authority will depend on what we would in a different way think about as that authority's contrary: a jittery, fearful, obsessive awareness to the error of others that's its personal type of undesirable shape. Drawing on sociology, psychoanalysis, narrative concept, and the period's huge literature on etiquette, Puckett demonstrates that the nineteenth-century novel is predicated for its shape at the paradoxical strength of the social mistake.
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Additional resources for Bad Form: Social Mistakes and the Nineteenth-Century Novel
Anne Mozley, “On Manners,” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine 90 (August 1861): 157–58. For this reason, the monstrosity of an aﬀected king would be the monstrosity of a self-negating structural failure as opposed to the temporary result of any speciﬁc faux pas. Kantorowicz’s reading of the key scene of Richard’s personal and sovereignty’s structural dissolution in The Tragedy of King Richard II—Richard “melts himself away” while looking and speaking into a looking glass—turns on the development of a certain kind of self-consciousness, one that, transplanted into the less tragic soil of the novel of manners, could stand as aﬀectation in Mozley’s sense: “The physical face which the mirror reﬂects, no longer is one with Richard’s inner experience, his outer appearance, no longer identical with inner man.
32. Gadamer, Truth and Method, 22. ” Gadamer opposes these to Kant, who replaces the immanent force of sensus communis with the transcendental philosophical basis of taste and thus emerges as the foil to Gadamer’s own antifoundational hermeneutic. 1 (Spring 1997): 205–36. some blunders sense, an inability that, as we have seen, becomes inescapable with the appearance of an etiquette that is always in ﬂux. It is to something like good form in this sense that Pierre Bourdieu refers when he describes the “feel for the game”: The habitus as the feel for the game is the social game embodied and turned into a second nature.
Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall (New York: Continuum, 2000), 37. 11. The circuits of exchange that connect these related traditions are complicated and by no means unidirectional. ” That exactly the same content can be seen shuttling between English, American, and French etiquette texts points to not only a strange relation between etiquette and theft but also a surprising international coherence to these traditions. Philippe Perrot, Fashioning the Bourgeoisie: A History of Clothing in the Nineteenth Century, trans.