Gender and Chronotopes of Revolution in the Border Ballads of Swinburne and Marriott Watson.
In her mordant activist sonnet "An Answer," published in the Independent in 1887, Rosamund Marriott Watson turned against her most admired poetical father, Algernon Charles Swinburne, for his conservative views on the Irish Home Rule question. (1) Borrowing words from Swinburne's "Hymn to Proserpine," she expressed her strong disappointment in the voice "that sang of freedom in his youth." (2) The following year, she engaged in a critical dialogue with Swinburne's earlier poetry by revisiting the rebellious spirit of his collection Poems and Ballads (1866). Her poem "The Quern of the Giants," in particular, stands out as a striking tribute and response to Swinburne's early republican enthusiasm. (3) This article reads Marriott Watson's ballad of giantesses as a revision of Swinburne's "Song in Time of Revolution, 1860" and explores the various ways in which the intersections of gender and genre in the two poems are informed by and underpin specific chronotopes of revolution. (4)
Gender, Border Ballads, and the Chronotope of Revolution
The relationship between Swinburne and Marriott Watson has surprisingly received little critical attention. (5) This article compares their approaches to the border ballad, revolution, and history as a whole. Conceptually, it weaves together four lines of argument: it highlights the intersections of gender and genre in the two poems, and uses their central motif (revolution) alongside Bakhtin's concept of the chronotope to elucidate the complexities of these interconnections. (6) The chronotope works both as a lens for studying time-space indicators within border ballads and as a conceptual frame to map, at internal and intertextual levels, the poets' unfurling of revolutionary moments and the ways in which these moments are gendered beyond purely thematic questions.
The topic of revolution encourages the authors to create new modalities of time-space, to explore innovative methods of rendering the "here-and-now" that defines the telling of history in its making, and to reflect on the gendered power structures that shaped their realities. (7) Considered as a "motif' or "local chronotope" in the two poems, revolution connotes both disruption and rotation (or a cyclical turn of events making any form of disruption provisional). (8) The project of a chronotopic reading of this motif involves close examination of the space-time indicators used in the ballads and of their influence on the authors' aesthetics of revolution.
Questions of revolution in the forms of raids, revolts, rescues, and stratagems abound in border ballads. Described by Marriott Watson as rebellious songs that bring "mankind into touch with its wild past [and] the days of hot blood," these texts approach literary, mythical, and local-historical space-time in terms of rupture. (9) Their reading of history is revolution-oriented in that it focuses on specific moments of break, disruption, and transformation. Their depiction of heroic deeds through passionate rhythms and natural metaphors of storms and surging waters inspired poetical renewal and metrical experimentation in nineteenth-century England. Characterized by multifaceted geographical, linguistic, and formal liminality, they provide Swinburne and Marriott Watson with the ideal form for their disruptive agendas. (10)
As local-historical, mythical, or supernatural poems, border ballads emphasize people in action: thus, as Joy Ladin explains, the "density of temporal and spatial indicators [that they contain] arises as a natural consequence of setting scenes and explaining actions." (11) Throughout my readings, I use Ladin's study of the poetical chronotope (12) to analyze a set of formal features in the poems (prosody or micro-temporality, enjambments, rhyming couplets, alliterations, color codes, metaphors, pauses, repetitions) and to demonstrate that these devices release local chronotopic energies that tip "the balance of forces from the centripetal towards the centrifugal" (Ladin, "Fleshing Out," p. 216) and allow political disruption to be enacted at the micro-level of a line. (13) In addition, I draw on Ladin's conceptualization of two opposing yet coexisting categories of chronotope: "intersubjective" (social) chronotopes shared by all protagonists, and "intrasubjective" (personal) chronotopes wherein space-time indicators are tied to the consciousness of one (or two) character(s).
The conceptual frame of the chronotope enables me to shed new light on the ways in which the authors' verses reacted to the wider artistic, political, and historical frames within which they were operating. On a more structural level, Bakhtin's mapping techniques allow me to illuminate differences in the two poets' gendered appropriations of northern songs and to show that each border ballad typifies its author's gendered approach to questions of progress, history, and literary revision.
The first step of my analysis centers on prosody. In this opening section, I argue that Swinburne's meter and structure in "Song"--modeled on the Homeric couplet, and meant to build on the antique and martial dimensions of the border ballad--participate in a centric aesthetic that favors regularity, restriction, and metrical balance. (14) By comparison, Marriott Watson's flexible prosody in "The Quern of the Giants" undermines this stability in her own version of the meter (by decentering her caesural breaks, for instance) and thus allows the irruption of the uncanny feminine within this familiar epic rhythm.
In a second movement focusing more specifically on the thematic content of the ballads, I demonstrate how Marriott Watson's bottom-up approach to revolutions favoring liminal female agencies sharply contrasts with Swinburne's increasingly wider focus on hegemonic and macrocosmic structures of power. Within the poem, Swinburne's shift from the local-historical setting of the battlefield to the surreal depiction of a post-apocalyptic cosmos inscribes his poetry within three overwhelmingly masculine traditions: border ballads, Greek epic literature, and Chartist poetry. From all three, Swinburne borrows his conception of historical development as the natural expression of fortuna (fate), metaphorically expressed at the end of "Song" through the figure of the Apollonian sun. Swinburne's belief in the predetermined nature of revolutions, combined with the formal circularity of his poetic repetitions and meter, undermines a progressive reading of his ballad. In short, Swinburne's representation of revolutions and history as natural, circular, and predetermined processes perpetuates masculine traditions that did not allow the individual freedom of peripheral agencies to prevail.
In contrast, the final section argues that Marriott Watson both revises myth in order to posit the feminine as an indomitable force of disruption and, through her representation of the revolutionary moment, highlights the political legitimacy of liminal female agencies. Capitalizing on the double nature (both mythical-historical and otherworldly) of what she calls the border ballad of the supernatural, and on its inherent capacity to challenge essentialist conceptions of the feminine, Marriott Watson revises Swinburne's patriarchal approach to history (Marriott Watson 1888, p. xii). The feminization of her aesthetics is patent in the gender twist that she applies to at least three traditionally masculine categories: giants, workers, and dissidents. Her own dual approach to history through the border ballad is reflected in the twin sisters' double role as political figures (New Women, dissenters) and mythological figures (giants, muses). Although she does inscribe the plot of her poem within a series of predetermined events, the reversed temporality of her poem as it counts down to its real center (that is, the revolution) emphasizes rupture with masculine tradition and insists on the openness of the revolutionary moment. As the scene of the sisters' rebellion slows down and takes on flesh through her impressionistic aesthetics, it is (for an instant at least) suspended, and becomes the "here-and-now" that characterizes the breaking of the continuum of history.
For both Swinburne and Marriott Watson, the border ballad was a fertile ground for aesthetic experimentation and resistance against a set tradition. Swinburne desired both to adopt "non-English models" as an adequate frame for his Greek mythopoeia and to express the "regional pride of an [aristocrat] with deep roots in Northumberland." (15) Marriott Watson was eager to find a literary model that would easily dovetail with her fin-de-siecle aesthetic and enable her to challenge hegemonic power structures: as Linda K. Hughes and Lee O'Brien have remarked, the border ballad was "a literary form prior to and outside the established canon" that conveniently provided her with all the "elements readymade to undercut assumptions about the feminine." (16) In both cases, border ballads' conventional depiction of raids, battles, and heroic deeds by "hot-blooded people" provides the two poets with the appropriate setting for the expression of their radical stances (Marriott Watson, p. xxviii). In the ballads, their political and aesthetic agendas suffuse their handling of prosody and shape their revision of older rhythms.
The heart of the rulers is sick, [parallel] and the high-priest covers his head: For this is the song of the quick [parallel] that is heard in the ears of the dead. ("Song," 11. 1-2; my emphasis) (17)
In "Song," Swinburne revives the energetic rush of the Homeric dactylic hexameter (often used in ancient Greece to narrate epic battles and imitate the charge of their battalions (18)) as a way of coupling the border ballad with the myths in which he had an interest. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, English and European translators had flattened the metrical dynamism of the form through their use of iambs, (19) and in the Victorian era they suppressed the accentual tones of the English language to align their translations with the rules of quantitative meter. (20) Swinburne, as a reaction against both traditions, turns to anapests (freely mixed with iambs) and their distinctive galloping rhythm (Newman, p. 229). The overwhelming presence of monosyllables in his poem, as epitomized in the opening lines quoted above, stems from the vigorous meters of the border ballad and aims to recreate the militaristic dimension of these ancient martial poems. Yet it is through Swinburne's subversion of this balladic model that the rousing force of its conventional rhythm is most efficiently enhanced. While the usual quatrain structure of the border-ballad stanza does subsist through strong caesuras highlighting the internal rhymes of each line ("sick"; "quick," 11. 1-2), the author's use of couplets condenses what might have been four trimetric lines into a pair of hexameters. The accelerated tempo that ensues mimics that of the battle: the meter of the poem "thickens," "takes on flesh," and "becomes artistically visible" as it simulates textual space. Spatial markers, in turn, become "charged and responsive" to the different scales of the poem's temporality (Bakhtin, p. 84): while the elongated lines replicate at their micro-level the distance covered by the army on the battlefield, the cadence of the meter echoes the fast pace of the soldiers and the accelerated heartbeat of their kings.
Despite this impression of speed, the largely unchanging nature of the meter throughout the poem restores its stability, just as the fragmentation of each line maintains a form of internal balance in the stanzas: if the plot deals with political chaos, the center of gravity of the lines, marked by the caesuras, remains mostly undisturbed. This rhythmical stability is echoed in the writer's constant upholding of the unities of time (the revolutionary moment conveyed in the present tense), action (the rulers' demise), and place (the battlefield) in the text.
For Marriott Watson, the soothing tempo of such metrical choices is at odds with the essence of the border ballad and the haste of its "hot-blooded people" to "be done with dishonourable or intolerable life" (Ballads, p. xxviii). Her poem builds on this tradition by relating the story of two sisters violently putting an end to their own enslavement. The ballad starts with the tale of a capricious monarch, King Frodi, who discovers that the Quern-stones he inherited have the potential to grant any of his wishes. After understanding that the stones can be turned by none of his men, Frodi buys the twin giantesses Menia and Frenia, who are strong enough to grind the stones. Toiling unceasingly, the bondwomen bring wealth and joy to the kingdom. The utopie results of their hard work encourage them to ask their ruler for some well-deserved rest. As their request is turned down twice, they join forces with the Quern and annihilate the kingdom's newly found happiness. In "The Quern of the Giants," (hereafter "Quern"), Marriott Watson revives ancient rhythms to convey the rage of her female protagonists. In her introduction to Ballads of the North Countrie, she expresses disdain for the heroic couplet and advocates the revival of old "rural measures":
The merit of our Northern ballads is to be "passionate, sensuous and simple." It is a commonplace of criticism to show how those qualities of the ballad awakened the drowsy Muse of England, lulled by the monotonous cadences of the heroic couplets, (p. xxvii, my emphasis)
The influence of Swinburne's prosody, themes, and aesthetics is made clear from the opening lines of Marriott Watson's poem--which adopts his meter, topic, and narrative focus on the ruling class (highlighted by the emphatic repetition of "king," 1. 1). Like Swinburne, Marriott Watson rejects the metronomic rhythm of the iambic pentameter found in heroic couplets, and mostly uses anapests. But her disruption of Swinburne's metrical balance constitutes a powerful twist, which enables the political instability and impetuousness of her ballad to seep through and affect its rhythm. This is notably illustrated by her displacement of the caesuras from the center of each line:
Lo, this is the song of a king [parallel] and his kingly desire, The story of wrong and undoing [parallel]--of terror and fire. ("Quern," 11. 1-2; my emphasis)
Swinburne's clear division of his hexametric meter into two groups of three strong syllables is subverted in "Quern," which is mostly constituted of anapestic pentameters (three-plus-two sets of beats). In the opening lines, the sense of rhythmical unbalance created by the delayed caesuras is even further enhanced by the triphthongs on "desire" and "fire," which significantly slow down the pace of the verses and attenuate the conclusive strength of Swinburne's masculine rhymes. (21) Throughout the rest of the text, the prosody furthers this sense of internal disruption, as it repeatedly deviates from the hexametric and anapestic forms. Line 6, for instance (quoted below), is stripped of its terminal caesura by the late introduction of an adjective clause ("that lay / Dull and hoar," 11. 6-7) that enforces an enjambment and the rhythmical continuation that it implies. Line 7 then follows a two-plus-four beat pattern separated by a comma, with a metrical inversion that places an extra stress on "Dull":
But strangest and rarest of all were the Quern-stones that lay Dull and hoar, 'mid the gleam of the gold and the woven array; (11. 6-7; my emphasis)
The fragmentariness of lines 21-22 (below) equally subverts Swinburne's centric rhythm by occasioning multiple pauses and enforcing an additional beat on "smiled." Thus, "Menia and Frenia" (1. 22), isolated by the punctuation, are placed at the heart of a one-two-two pattern:
And the monarch, his friend aforetime, smiled, musing, and said, "Let the bondwomen, Menia and Frenia, be hitherward led." (11. 21-22; my emphasis)
Through the expression of her increasingly flexible meter, Marriott Watson both capitalizes on Greek epic traditions and destabilizes them. In her poem, the growing impulsiveness of the revolutionary sisters echoes that of the "old rural measures" that she praises in her edition. By allowing this feminine disturbance (at the levels of the plot and of the meter) within the sphere of the familiar (canonical narrative and rhythm), Rosamund Marriott Watson endows her text with gendered uncanniness.
The decentering effects of Marriott Watson's metrical techniques are doubled by a displacement of the revolutionary moment towards the final stanzas of "Quern," allowing a redefinition of power from its margins. In Swinburne's "Song," the narrative decentering arguably constituted by a beginning in medias res aims at re-centering the action onto the historical events at stake. Marriott Watson's ballad, on the contrary, is divided into two moments: pre- and post-revolution. This allows tension (in the form of female rage) to accumulate and finally explode at the end, or "real" center, of the poem. Marriott Watson's postponement of her revolutionary moment proves to work in favor of (female) working-class characterization. In fact, despite the subversive purpose of Swinburne's attention to the "rulers" and the "high-priest" seeking to keep the spotlight on the text's disempowerment of these figures, his poem remains centric in that its deconstruction of power minimizes the importance of "the poor and the halt and the blind" (named only once, I. 3) as direct agents of (chronotopic) change. Marriott Watson, however, emphasizes the moment of empowerment of her working female figures by displacing the giantesses from the periphery of the story's main chronotope (i.e., the kingdom) to its center, and by enabling them to actively remodel space-time.
Throughout the first part of the plot, the bondwomen's relegation to the outskirts of their adoptive land suggests their lack of control over the chronotopic elements of the story, even though their work on the Quern-stones results in a spatial-temporal transformation of the country. The utopic landscape that they enrich is described at length in the text, through both visual terms (the "fair [...] light of the sun on the blossoming leas," I. 42) and description of sounds (the "chime of great bells undersea or the cooing of doves," 1. 40). This spatial peacefulness is reinforced by the smooth chronological succession of time-markers; "summer-time" is connected with "winter" through the flow of gold that shines like a "river of light." While the causal link between the presence of the two sisters in the land and the release of beneficial energies is made clear, the bondwomen are ostracized and left "shelterless" at the margins of the kingdom. The space that they occupy works, in Foucauldian terms, as a "heterotopic" (22) counter-site that neither constitutes an integral part of the country nor really situates itself outside of it: estranged from their home town, strange to their new land and to the human race, the sisters are all at once located within and without the male-dominated territory. Their exclusion is spatial and temporal, as a life dictated by "work-discipline" alienates them from the timeframe of the kingdom and the tale of enrichment it unfurls. (23) This prequel to the revolutionary moment of the plot serves to justify and highlight the agency of the sisters in the chronotopic transformations that are described throughout the second half of "Quern."
In "Song," the interconnection between the protagonists and the spacetime indicators of the text is, at first, merely expressed in analogical terms: the "noise of the blowing of wind" is like "the sound of the noise of their feet" (I. 4); the "heart of the nations is made as the strength of the springs of the sea" (1. 12, my emphasis); the "priests are scattered like chaff, and the rulers broken like reeds" (1. 6, my emphasis). This comparative modality generates a shift towards a metaphorical depiction of the revolution that works at the expense of the people's representation. As natural forces fully appropriate their political actions, their actual presence disappears from the text and gives way to the overwhelming supremacy of the passive voice and the depriving prefix "un": the rulers are "smitten" and "pained" (1. 9), "grieved" and "taken" (1. 11), "unbound" and "undone" (1. 23); and the agents of this change are unnamed. As Michael Sanders notes in his article on Chartist poetry and its frequent representation of political dissent as an "irresistible natural force" through the use of "water-related images," poems resorting to such metaphors are "marked by [their] inability to instance the agency capable of realizing [their] political aspirations." (24) Thus, as nature takes over the narrative in "Song," the reddening of the corn "that was green" (1. 36) understates, if not fully ignores, the blood-shedding responsibility of the rebels; and the disincarnated "shouting of mirth" (1. 36) carried by the wind (11. 5; 33) suppresses the importance of the mouths that issue it. This rupture between the proletarians and the actions that they carry out in chronotopic terms precludes an equal relationship between the two: one (the people) has to be subjugated to the other (natural forces), and is consequently disempowered.
This rupture reveals the macrocosmic dimension of Swinburne's ballad (and his poetry as a whole) that shapes his conception of power and history. As John D. Rosenberg explains in his chapter on the effects of time in Swinburne's work, the poet's focus is much less "upon the small celandine than upon the spines of mountains"; (25) and in the case of "Song," it is less upon the achievements of a few individuals than upon the wider forces that determine their world. This scale or perspective on historical events is also to be found in the predominantly masculine tradition of Chartist poems, (26) in which the disembodied voice of the dissenters is "located in a series of generalized settings," such as high peaks, skies, and "wide fields of heather" (Sanders, p. 113). This grandiloquent focus on sizeable natural entities or realms recurs in eighteenth-and nineteenth-century poetry by men, but is found much less often in verses by women. In her study of Victorian nature poems, Fabienne Moine notices the rarity of large or abstract spaces (oceans, the universe, and mountains) in the works of female poets, who often prefer to concentrate on small and peripheral natural objects, and who "turn to nature as a resource to challenge or overcome that marginalization" (my emphasis). (27)
The texts at the center of this article arguably exceed Moine's parameters (being themselves more than just nature poems) and do not corroborate strict associations between the macrocosmic and the masculine, the liminal and the feminine. By anchoring her work in the tradition of myths and border ballads, Marriott Watson does participate in an abstract vision of history and invokes substantial natural elements such as surging waters and ravaging fires. Yet Moine's claims shed light on the general movements, and the gendered politics, of the two ballads. "Quern" starts with a broad narrative focus on the kingdom, only to finally "zoom in" on the specific changes triggered by liminal female agents. And it decenters the revolutionary moment to re-center these instances of marginal power. The monstrous alliance that her female figures make with nature enables Marriott Watson both to capitalize on and to subvert essentialist discourses that posited the semiotic association of the two. In this respect, she employs the forces of nature as a way for her characters to overcome their chronotopic marginalization. Swinburne, on the contrary, opens his ballad with the specific space-time of the battlefield (with a focus on centric forms of power, as explained), and then chooses to "zoom out," to the detriment of local agencies and in favor of even greater centric forces:
The wind is thwart in their feet; it is full of the shouting of mirth; As one shaketh the sides of a sheet, so it shaketh the ends of the earth. The sword, the sword is made keen; the iron has opened its mouth; The corn is red that was green; it is bound for the sheaves of the south. The sound of a word was shed, the sound of the wind as the breath, In the ears of the souls that were dead, in the dust of the deepness of death; Where the face of the moon is taken, the ways of the stars undone, The light of the whole sky shaken, the light of the face of the sun: (11. 33-40)
In the passage quoted above, as the laughing wind of change that swept the fields of the battle now reaches and "shaketh" the "ends of the earth" (1. 34), the reality of the civil war is blurred by the metaphorical expansion of the poem's chronotopic focus. In line 35, the reiteration of a military motif ("the sword, the sword") works as a local chronotope that, for a short instant, invokes "the spatial and temporal implications" of the battlefield (Ladin, "Death," p. 136). In line 36, however, the narrative scope is once more elevated to a cosmic level, with the stars, the sky, and the sun as its main protagonists.
Interestingly, Swinburne's disorientation of his poetical world's coordinates is expressed through the reinforcement of the text's meter and chiasmic structure, that is, of the lines' anchoring rhythm and centric balance. The striking sonic effect of the alliteration on "d" in line 38 ("dead, in the dust of the deepness of death"), together with the semantic redundancy of the line, for instance, heightens the regularity of the action's tempo. Similarly, the repetitions of "shaketh" (1. 34), "sound" (1. 37), and "light" (1. 40) near the beginning or end of each half-line strengthen the "insistent, mesmeric" meter of the poem and the inner division of its lines (Rosenberg, p. 165). As much as these iterations reinforce what I earlier referred to as the ballad's metrical "center of gravity," they also convey the circularity, or rotating movement, of revolutions in their primary acceptation. These swirling, repetitive gestures of the text suggest both movement and stasis, and account for Swinburne's "structural and metaphorical dependence on circularity." (28) As Sarah Eron argues in her study of space, time, and paradox in Swinburne's work, "this circular pattern of time is one which accentuates both the stasis and the movement of the circle": "things change but never change; move and yet go nowhere" (p. 305). This tension is clearly illustrated at the very end of the ballad: when the world's coordinates shift, stop the "waves of the water" (I. 41), and invoke an overwhelming sense of death, the anapestic meter of the poem keeps replicating the rhythms of the sea and conveys an impression of continuity, at the crossroads of ever-changefulness and eternal sameness.
This distinctive vision of history as an undulating continuum finds a striking illustration in the motif of the wind at the end of the poem. Described in the very last line of "Song" as the breath of the Lord, this image anticipates Walter Benjamin's metaphor of progress as a storm:
Where we perceive a chain of events, [the Angel of History] sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned. This storm is what we call progress, (p. 249)
Like the "Angelus Novus" of poetry, Swinburne witnesses and writes about this "storm," this divine "breath" that blows, unstoppable, from Paradise and gives metrical impulse to his ballad. Despite his mention of the Christian Lord at the end of the poem, his depiction of destiny, cosmic forces, and poetry as an endless series of waves betrays the influence of Greek faith on his work. As Yisrael Levin demonstrates in his most recent book, Swinburne's Poems and Ballads followed the early lines of a "mythopoeic project" by placing the "father figure" of Apollo at the center of a poetics that abounds in solar and astral imageries. (29) In republican verses such as "Song," the rebellious and "double-natured" god of sun and poetry becomes "a destroyer of oppressive institutions, both religious and political, as well as a source of dynamic regeneration." (30) Despite essentialist connections between femininity and natural cycles, Swinburne's perspective on revolutions as rotating movements thus participates in a masculine canon.
This patriarchal understanding of time-space is highlighted in an article by Julia F. Saville that brilliantly untangles tensions between the republican beliefs of the voice "that sang of freedom" (Marriott Watson 1887) and the vision of social change (as patriarchal, natural, apolitical, universal, and repetitive) presented in "Song." (31) While acknowledging the influence that democrats like Hugo, Mazzini, and Whitman had on Swinburne's writings, Saville suggests that his "idiosyncratic views were often at odds with theirs" (p. 694). To support her claims, she analyzes the ways in which Swinburne's views on historical time corroborate ancient Greek understandings of fortuna:
For instance, his passionate investment in aesthetics and varieties of imaginative pleasure is motivated by a sense of temporality that blends ancient and modern and regards fate or fortuna--an indifferent, impersonal, and random force--as the determinant of world events. Time is therefore no secular progression to be fulfilled in an afterlife, but an alternating rhythm, exemplified in the rhythms of the sea, and replicated in the rhythms of poetry, delivering joy and sorrow, not through a morally coherent system of reward or punishment, but arbitrarily, through the interventions of fate. (pp. 694-695)
The importance of fortuna in Swinburne's "Song" is expressed through the ways in which the "indifferent, impersonal, and random force" of natural energies leads the rulers to meet their tragic destiny--almost independently of the people's revolutionary endeavors. In this approach to temporality, individual action has little to no influence on the course of history: as Sanders explains in his article on Chartist poems, naturalizing radical change as an "inexorable ... process" is a double-edged sword that also casts doubt on the relevance of any "political strategy" or "activity" (p. 121). Apollo ("the face of the sun," 1. 40) fully embodies this change. While the healing and destroying god arbitrarily puts an end to tyrannical (i.e., unnatural) structures of social order, his almighty reign does appear to counter disruptive liberty and to anchor "Song" within a patriarchal understanding of history, change, and power.
Swinburne's macrocosmic, circular, and masculine take on revolution is not present in "Quern." Marriott Watson's keen authorial interest in re-centering the liminal, the insignificant, and the ostracized participates in a wider literary practice that Moine identifies as a feminine tactic for opposing the strategies of hegemonic (or centric) structures of masculine power (p. 2). In "Quern," Marriott Watson's magnifying attention to the "submissive and meek" bondwomen (1. 26) is translated in terms of the sisters' height. If a character in George Egerton's Discords describes the figure of the New Woman as a "desexualised half man," (32) Marriott Watson literally turns her female characters into double-sized versions of "the children of men" (1. 24). The sisters do share their defining attributes with the New Woman: their occupation (working outdoors), imposing physical appearance ("stalwart" and mightier "of limb and of stature" than men), and status as political agents of disruption align them with the parodic representations of independent women in the late-Victorian press. Marriott Watson capitalizes on these political descriptions to operate a gender shift on the mythological figure of the giant. Famous fictional giants such as Goliath in the Bible, Polyphemus in The Odyssey, Blunderbore in Cornish folklore, and Rakshasa in Hindu tradition (a "great misshapen" creature with a "red beard and red hair," as described by John Fiske (33)) are endowed with (superhuman) height and strength, two qualities attributed to masculinity in essentialist discourses. In an article describing Charles Hazelwood Shannon's illustration of "Quern" ("The Grinding of the Wrack" (34)), Joseph Bristow notes the "colossal strength" of the sisters' naked bodies, drawn in a "supportive embrace." This representation of "indomitable femininity" does not appear to "conform to the late-nineteenth-century figurations of the femme fatale but "reminds readers that Menia and Frenia are working women whose backbreaking industry decides whether the world will reap a harvest or suffer a famine." (35) Through the characterization of these sisters, Marriott Watson thus feminizes three typically masculine figures--workers, giants, and dissenters--and mischievously exacerbates contemporary fears about the New Woman as a political agent.
The empowerment of her working female characters is echoed in the second half of the poem, as the giantesses not only coexist with natural forces, unlike Swinburne's rebels, but also display full control of them: while the disempowering natural energies of "Song" are presented as an independent force, those in "Quern" are enacted by the sisters. In the quotations below, the repetition of "rent" evidences this individualized performativity: the giants previously characterized by their silence ("no word," 1. 25; "mute," 1. 29; "murmured not," 1. 32) are suddenly endowed with voices that say and do all at once:
And Menia said: "Now shall we grind till the King be content With the fruit of our toil--till the walls of the palace be rent; (11. 79-80; my emphasis> The red flames brake forth from the earth and her furrows were rent (11. 93; my emphasis)
This reaffirmation of the twin sisters' supremacy over natural transformations has a profound influence on space-time markers themselves. Rather than serving the interests of the text's "intersubjective" (or social) chronotope, as in the first stanzas of the poem, these indicators are now intrinsically connected with, and shaped by, the characters' consciousness: their relationship is therefore "intrasubjective" (Ladin, "Fleshing Out," p. 215). While the sisters' voices find a poetical double in the "hoarse" and "hollow" murmurings of the Quern, their bodies share a close-knit, if not symbiotic, link with the natural elements of the text. In the example below, the poet's unclear attribution of a personal pronoun suggests the assimilation of the sisters with the fire--and, by logical extension, the inherent feminization of the latter. As the destructive and sterilizing potential of the flames is grafted onto the identity of the sisters at the level of the poem's syntax, this space marker not only becomes an extension of the female body; it also enables Marriott Watson to decouple essentialist connections between womanhood and procreative fertility. Building on the tradition of border ballads as tales of revenge, Marriott Watson clearly thwarts hegemonic discourses of femininity by recasting her giantesses as agents of death and destruction. Just as the working class is described by Bristow as oblivious of its I real strength, the sisters suddenly remember their origins and the powers they inherited from their ancestors.
And red shone the feet of the maidens, the Quern-stones were red, As they ground, dealing death to the living and flame to the dead; (11. 99-100, my emphasis) Still over the dead and the dying the flames flickered high, They leapt in the blood-reek, rejoicing, and reddened the sky. (11. 103-104, my emphasis)
Here, while the grammatical subject of the verb "leapt" (1. 104), "[tjhey" (1. 104), works as a pronominal substitute for the noun "the flames" (1. 103) in the previous line, the earlier mention of the maidens' "feet" (1. 99), and the clear link between "blood" (1. 104) and the color "red" (1. 99), erase the ontological boundaries between the two agents of disruption. As Sir William Watson remarked in his 1892 review of Marriott Watson's poetry, the "ghostliness of blurred and huddled outlines" and the "obscure confusion of shadow and substance" that she loved to "paint" in verse (resulting in an "eerie" and "uncanny" atmosphere) participate in the spectral, impressionistic dimension of her fin-desiecle aesthetics. (36) In "Quern," when the sisters become fire, they momentarily experience what Derrida calls "spectralizing disembodiment" or "desincarnation spectralisante." (37) The synchronization of their physical metamorphosis with the chronotopic changes of the text provides a "pattern of disruption" that recasts the feminine as the main structuring force of the ballad (O'Brien, p. 157). As the sisters and the chronotopic markers of the text are shown to exceed or bridge binary oppositions, they invoke a "spectral logic" that is "de facto a deconstructive [one]," as Derrida argues. (38)
The feminization of this logic is evidenced throughout the second half of the ballad, as the chronotopic indicators of the text become emotionally anthropomorphic ("rejoicing," 1. 104)--that is, they directly respond to the impulses of the sister giants. These transformations are first expressed through a change in the poet's palette: as the spectral feminine takes possession of space-time, the spectrum of colors characterizing Marriott Watson's poetical world is modified. The prosperous landscape, formerly defined by its warming sunlight and shades of green, is now tinted with touches of black and daubed with large strokes of red. This sudden transfiguration of the setting does not directly serve the action: while colors have a narrative role in Swinburne's ballad ("his raiment bloodily dashed," I. 7; "The corn is red that was green," 1. 36) and chiefly express martial violence, they serve symbolic and aesthetic functions in Marriott Watson's impressionist work. Her insistent repetitions of the words "dark" and (especially) "red" enable the words to discharge centrifugal energies throughout the end of the poem, that is, to diffuse their meaning in a way that challenges the metrical coherence of the text. When the sisters first express their anger, for instance, "Dark, dark grew the face of the heavens, and dark grew the sea" (1. 71); the initial reiteration of the adjective "dark" produces a spondaic metrical violation.
Such repetitions participate both in this visual (or spatial) dynamic and in the temporal transformations of the text. As established earlier, iterative patterns in Swinburne's "Song" enhance the regularity of the meter and suggest the stasis of eternal rotation. Marriott Watson's repetitions throughout her final stanzas work the opposite way: they unsettle the narrative tempo, convey the hectic and disorganized nature of the scene, and find their best metaphor in the destructive image of the hurricane that the sisters invoke. These ravaging chronotopic transformations are themselves engendered by a repetition in the plot--that of King Frodi's disdainful threat, which triggers the sisters' rage and its space-time logic:
"So long as the pause of a song for the voices that sing, So long as the call of the cuckoo is silent in spring,
"So long shall ye rest and no longer, so long shall ye cease From the grinding of pleasure and plenty, of treasure and peace." (11. 53-56; repeated 11. 65-67)
Temporal modifications directly follow the second occurrence of the King's unfair demand. The chronology of the seasons that characterized the ballad's opening is disrupted throughout the last stanzas, with the mention of the untimely "tide" that provokes the sea to roar up, and of the "bent / Of the wheat-blades in spring" (11. 94-95) that turns emblems of birth and fertility ("spring"; the Scots "bent" referring to a "field" (39)) into a symbol of death (the "blades" of wheat as equated with the earth's "steel-girdled sons"). The increased presence of enjambments and rhythmical shifts in the second half of the poem suggests the writer's desire to recreate these temporal disturbances at the level of the syntax. In the example below, the disassociation of "bent" from its complement "[o]f the wheat-blades" enforced by the stanza break (like the semi-colon marking the start of a new clause in the middle of a line) mirrors the bewildering, apocalyptic nature of the events:
The red flames brake forth from the earth and her furrows were rent With the steel-girdled sons of her might, rising thick as the bent Of the wheat-blades in spring; and the sea roaring up to the land On its tide bore the ships of the foeman unhurt o'er the strand. (11. 93-96, my emphasis)
As Beth Newman demonstrates, Swinburne belongs to "a line of poets for whom the regularity of meter serves to restrain or even repress the passions that seek expression through poetic language." He desires to "feel the [bonds of verse] more keenly, in the paradoxical (but typically Victorian) belief that submission to the law was the highest expression of genuine freedom" (p. 226). While Swinburne upholds this "friction" between "repression and release," Marriott Watson chooses to make them succeed one another: the hard shell of tradition in her ballad only exists to burst open and highlight her own decadent and feminized aesthetics (p. 226). Passions and rebellions not only predominate in the second half of her poem; they also seep through the meter and completely deconstruct its tempo. Her prosody in "Quern" participates in, and absorbs, an impressionistic aesthetic of spatial-temporal blurring that allows her female characters to express their rage. Like the conductor of an orchestra, the twin sisters recreate and dictate rhythm at the end of the ballad. Their new role as quasi-narrators is enhanced by the metrical insistence on their "singing" about their historical exploits and resistance against oppression (1. 101: "And still, as they sang, sang the sword and the ravening fire"). Tellingly, this singing ceases at the same time that the "song of [the] king" concludes. Choosing both to end and to reclaim Frodi's song of a "glory gone by as a tale that is told," blood-footed Menia and Frenia "dance the measure that is to be their last" (Marriott Watson, Ballads, p. xxviii).
Marriott Watson's displacement of the sisters from the margins of the text to its center and its origins highlights her seemingly paradoxical approaches to history as both predetermined and startlingly emancipatory. The loop that is tied between the first and last lines of the text, recasting the giantesses as the narrators of the story, suggests a sense of circularity and closure reminiscent of Swinburne's fortuna. Indeed, the sisters' role as healers (first half), destroyers (second half), and muses (ending) echoes his Apollonian aesthetics. As "Quern" concludes with the demise of the King, the reader understands the predestined nature of the revolutionary scene, which, although postponed to the end of the text, constitutes its real center. The ballad is built up around this climactic moment of change triggered by feminine rage and, like a time-bomb, counts down to it. This sense of mythical fatality may appear to thwart progressive interpretations of the poem and open up defeatist readings; for "the very end of myth is to immobilize the world" and to interpret history as the result of nature and fate. (40) But by appropriating the cosmogonic specificities of myths and ascribing god-like attributes to her female workers, Marriott Watson turns Swinburne's view of revolution (as bloody events arbitrarily restoring natural order at certain points of history) back onto itself and challenges the masculine authority of his "natural" power structures. Through her myth of the giantesses, Marriott Watson naturalizes the feminine as an indomitable, disruptive force; and reminds her readers that "patriarchal ideals of social order depend not only on women's exploited labor but also arise from an arrogant underestimation of the physical strength" of all working women (Bristow, p. 540).
Thus, despite the undisputable predetermination of her mythical narrative, Rosamund Marriott Watson leaves space for progressive freedom in "Quern." Her choosing to omit the ending of the original myth (in which Frodi's enemy captures Frenia and Menia and forces them to grind salt, until the sea flows down the millstone and becomes salty) arguably evidences her desire to subvert Swinburne's idea of revolution as the repetitive and endless pulse of history. (41) Marriott Watson's time-bomb temporality counts down to what Benjamin calls the "zero hour" of change (pp. 253-254) and allows her to insist both on the importance of liminal agencies (downplayed by Swinburne's centric verses) and on the revolutionary moment per se--the impulse characteristic of old border ballads. Her impressionistic aesthetics reify and give momentum to the scene of the sisters' rebellion. Indeed, her aesthetic transformations of the poem's chronotopic indicators not only radically invert the linear space-time dynamics unfurled by King Frodi's masculine tale of enrichment; they also make the revolutionary scene stand out, bear logic of its own, be that emancipated present defined by Benjamin as the "here-and-now" that constitutes materialist understandings of history. The disruptive nature of her repetitions illustrates this tension between circularity and deconstruction: where Swinburne's "Song" represents the circular wind of progress causing historical events to unfold, Marriott Watson's "Quern" is a moving hurricane, bursting open the continuum of history and placing the feminine at the center of the revolutionary moment.
The relevance of Bakhtin's spatial-temporal mapping techniques as a conceptual tool for close-reading texts and defining generic distinctions in the novel (or in poetry) has often overshadowed the intrinsic ideological and historical significance of the chronotope. In his essay, Bakhtin insists on the potential of his concept to determine "to a significant degree the image of man in literature" in relation to the historical stages that have marked human development (p. 85). The form of time that characterizes Greek romance, for instance, reducing the plot to a meaningless extra-temporal hiatus between two predetermined biographical poles (love encounter and wedding), dramatizes an image of humanity that "predates class [or gender] distinctions" and overlooks questions of freedom of choice (p. 105). In his article on "the chronotope of humanness," Gary S. Morson reminds us that for Bakhtin, the prerequisite for disruptive liberty lies in a conception of time as "open"--and by extension, in an understanding of history that runs "counter to both scientific (or pseudoscientific) determinism" and theology. (42) This tension between fatalism and philosophical understanding of people as free agents is present and is resolved in Marriott Watson's poetry in two ways. Firstly, she inscribes female rebellion (and thus the possibility of female liberty) into her myth of origin. Secondly, her use of an impressionistic aesthetic allows her to both expand and suspend the revolutionary moment, thereby giving it the quality of "open time."
Victorian women poets at the end of the century (such as Mathilde Blind, May Kendall, and Michael Field) engaged extensively with both mythopoeic traditions and Darwinian determinism. Their revisionist poetry capitalized on the fin-de-siecle reappropriation of ancient myths by male writers, as a way of challenging the masculine codes of this canon from the inside; redefining the course of women's history by rewriting their origins; and borrowing the transgressee potential of mythological heroines to reflect upon the condition of the New Woman and rekindle fin-de-siecle debates on women's sexual and political rights. Similarly, as Fabienne Moine explains, they resorted to the premises of social Darwinism as a way of stepping into higher spheres of influence and deflating masculine pride with the tools that scientists used to justify female inferiority (p. 263). While the chronotope undeniably offers a fruitful starting point to explore their radical poetry and the modalities of this tension between fatalism and freedom, Marriott Watson's poetry complicates Bakhtin's reading of "open time" by inscribing female disruption within the DNA of history. Her aesthetics constitute an example of feminized time that can inspire new readings of the intersections of gender, genre, and history in poems by late-Victorian women.
I wish to thank my colleagues and dear friends Eva Mosser and Lucy Hanks, as well as my advisors Dr. Michael Sanders, Dr. Clara Dawson, and Dr. Emily Rohrbach, for their kind advice on the different drafts of my article. My most sincere gratitude goes to the editors of this special issue, Dr. Veronica Alfano and Dr. Lee O'Brien, for taking time to give me detailed, encouraging, and helpful feedback. I would also like to pay tribute to Prof Linda K. Hughes, whose research on Rosamund Marriott Watson has profoundly shaped mine.
(1) Rosamund Marriott Watson, "An Answer," Independent (New York), June 2, 1887. This poem was brought to critical attention by Linda K. Hughes in her biography of the author: Graham R.: Rosamund Marriott Watson, Woman of Letters (Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 2005), p. 45.
(2) Her poem's epigraph was taken from the opening line of "Hymn to Proserpine": "I have lived long enough, having seen one thing, that love hath an end." The phrase "that sang of freedom in his youth" is from Marriott Watson, "An Answer."
(3) Rosamund Marriott Watson, "The Quern of the Giants," in The Poems of Rosamund Marriott Watson, ed. John Lane (London: The Bodley Head, 1912), pp. 213-218.
(4) Algernon Charles Swinburne, "Song in Time of Revolution, 1860," in Poems and Ballads (London: Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly, 1883), pp. 158-162.
(5) Surprisingly, Marriott Watson's obvious tribute to her predecessor has not yet received the academic attention it deserves. In fact, no thorough comparative study of the two authors' works, let alone the specific modalities of their approach to balladry, has been published. Although Maxwell and Evangelista's recent monograph on Swinburne acknowledged the impact of the "unofficial laureate" on the fin-desiecle poetry of male and female writers, Marriott Watson is not cited as one of his successors, and has de facto rarely been able to make the list. To my knowledge, only Linda K. Hughes has established a direct connection between the two authors in one article, her contribution to "The Yellow Nineties Online," and her brilliant biography of the female poet.
Catherine Maxwell and Stefano Evangelista, eds., Algernon Charles Swinburne: Unofficial Laureate (Manchester Univ. Press, 2013), p. 5; Hughes, Graham R., p. 71; Hughes, "Daughters of Danaus and Daphne: Women Poets and the Marriage Question," Victorian Literature and Culture 34, no. 2 (2006): 487; Linda K. Hughes, "Graham R. Tomson [Rosamund Marriott Watson] (1860-1911)," The Yellow Nineties Online, eds. Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra (2011), http://www.1890s.ca/HTML/tomson_bio.html (accessed March 28, 2018).
(6) Mikhail M. Bakhtin, "Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel," in The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, ed. Michael Holquist and Caryl Emerson (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 2014), pp. 84-258.
(7) Walter Benjamin, "Theses on the Philosophy of History," in Illuminations (London: Penguin, The Bodley Head, 2015), pp. 253-254. Although Harry Zorn translates "Jetztzeit" as "time filled by the presence of the now," 1 choose to use Dennis Redmond's more concise 2005 translation of the term as "here-and-now" for purely practical reasons.
(8) These are terms employed interchangeably by Bakhtin. See Bakhtin, "Forms of Time," p. 252: "We have been speaking so far only of the major chronotopes ... But each such chronotope can include within it an unlimited number of minor chronotopes; in fact, as we have already said, any motif may have a special chronotope of its own."
(9) Rosamund Marriott Watson, ed., Ballads of the North Countrie (New York: White and Allen, 1888), p. xxx.
(10) Geographical liminality: border ballads emerged in the border territories of England and Scotland and at the crossroads of Gaelic, Scandinavian, and Scottish folk cultures. Linguistic liminality: the border ballad, with its archaic language and recurrent use of Scots dialect, demonstrated stubborn resistance against processes of Anglicization. Formal liminality: older forms of border ballads were partially improvised and operated at the threshold between songs and poems. See David Buchan, The Ballad and the Folk (London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1972), pp. 4-9.
(11) Joy Ladin, '"It was not Death': The Poetic Career of the Chronotope," in Bakhtin's Theory of the Literary Chronotope: Reflections, Applications, Perspectives, ed. Nele Bemong, Pieter Borghart, Michel De Dobbeleer, and Kristoffel Demoen (Ghent: Ginko, Academia Press, 2010), p. 132.
(12) Ladin, '"It was not Death,'" pp. 131-156; Ladin, "Fleshing Out the Chronotope," in Critical Essays on Mikhail Bakhtin, ed. Caryl Emerson (New York: G. K. Hall, 1999), pp. 212-235. Ladin's study is unique in that it conceptualizes the applicability of the chronotope (used to analyze novels in Bakhtin's essay) to poetry.
(13) For Ladin, a poetic approach to the chronotope consists in embracing the tension between the "centrifugal" (that is, "the chronotopic implications of individual words and phrases") and the "centripetal" (that is, forces that subordinate centrifugal energies to the "coherent overarching meanings" of sentences and of the story). She adds that in poetry, as opposed to novels, the centripetal forces of the plot and of grammatical sentences are "interfered with by rhyme, meter, enjambment and other devices, giving the centrifugal forces of individual words and phrases greater play" (Ladin, "Fleshing Out," p. 216).
(14) "Centric" is used throughout this article to refer both to Swinburne's prosodie emphasis on the center of gravity of each line through caesuras, and to his understanding of power as masculine and hegemonic--an understanding that fails to convey the agency of peripheral forces.
(15) Beth Newman, "Swinburne among the Hexametrists," Victorian Poetry 54, no. 2 (Summer 2016): 228.
(16) Linda K. Hughes, "A Fin-de-Siecle Beauty and the Beast: Configuring the Body in Works by 'Graham R. Tomson' (Rosamund Marriott Watson)," Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 14, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 108; Lee Christine O'Brien, The Romance of the Lyric in Nineteenth-Century Women's Poetry: Experiments in Form (Newark: Univ. of Delaware, 2012), p. 58.
(17) Swinburne, "Song in Time of Revolution, 1860," opening couplet. Throughout my paper, stressed syllables are underlined, and caesuras are indicated by 11.
(18) Hugh Chisholm, Encyclopaedia Britannica 13, 11th ed., s.v., "Heroic Verse" (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1911), pp. 385-386.
(19) Alexander Pope, for instance, translated the Iliad using the heroic couplet (iambic pentameters), which was then considered to be "the appropriate measure for serious poems." Criticisms of this meter often pointed at its "metronomic monotony," which failed to convey the energy of Greek poetic diction. See Claude Rawson, Swift and Others (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2015), pp. 95, 4.
(20) "High on the list of Swinburne's aesthetic considerations were the distinctive qualities of the English language as a medium for poetry, especially its sound system. ... His objections to the hexameter poems, expressed in pejoratives such as "rhymeless," "ugly," "loose," or (drawing now from his 1869 essay on Coleridge) "tuneless," all focus on the aesthetic, indeed musical deficiencies that result from effort to force English verse into a mold contrary to its inclinations" (Newman, p. 228).
(21) Whether to define "fire" and "desire" as feminine rhymes opens up a long-lasting debate among linguists trying to determine whether triphthongs are monosyllabic or disyllabic. See: John Wells, "Triphthongs, anyone?," John Wells's Phonetic Blog (accessed March 28, 2018), http://phonetic-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/triphthongs -anyone.html.
(22) Michel Foucault, "Of Other Spaces," Diacritics 16, no. 1 (1986): 26.
(23) E. P. Thompson, "Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism," Past & Present 38 (1967): 56.
(24) Michael Sanders, "Poetic Agency: Metonymy and Metaphor in Chartist Poetry 1838-1852," Victorian Poetry 39, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 112-114.
In a chapter entitled "Swinburne and the North," Brian Burton remarks that although Swinburne belonged to the upper class, his texts echo Chartist poems in their "concern with political radicalism and reform." His imitations of popular culture and regional dialect in Ballads of the English Border mostly constitute "critiques of the ruling class" and share the same approach to history (as an unstoppable process) and natural order (as more powerful than human law). Brian Burton, "Swinburne and the North," in A. C. Swinburne and the Singing Word: New Perspectives on the Mature Work, ed. Yisrael Levin (Aldershot and Burlington: Ashgate, 2010), p. 75.
(25) John D. Rosenberg, "Swinburne and the Ravages of Time," in Elegy for an Age: The Presence of the Past in Victorian Literature (London: Anthem Press, 2005), p. 163.
(26) Eliza Cook is perhaps the most famous female contributor to radical poetry and the Chartist literary tradition. Her poems, however, do not focus on the cosmos and sizeable natural elements, unlike those of her male contemporaries. On the contrary, they concentrate on small natural items (worms, buttercups and daisies, etc.), which aligns them with Fabienne Moine's arguments about feminine literary tactics.
(27) Fabienne Moine, Women Poets in the Victorian Era: Cultural Practices and Nature Poetry (Burlington: Ashgate, 2015), p. 7.
(28) Sarah Eron, "Circles and the ln-Between: Shaping Time, Space, and Paradox in Swinburnian Verse," Victorian Poetry 44, no. 3 (2006): 294.
(29) Yisrael Levin, Swinburne's Apollo: Myth, Faith, and Victorian Spirituality (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013), p. 54.
(30) Veronica Alfano, review of Swinburne's Apollo: Myth, Faith, and Victorian Spirituality by Yisrael Levin, and Algernon Charles Swinburne: Unofficial Laureate, ed. Catherine Maxwell and Stefano Evangelista, Victorian Studies 58, no. 1 (Autumn 2015): 171.
(31) Julia F. Saville, "Cosmopolitan Republican Swinburne, the Immersive Poet as Public Moralist," Victorian Poetry 47, no. 4 (Winter 2009): 691-713.
(32) George Egerton, Keynotes and Discords, ed. Martha Vicinus (1893 and 1894; rprt. London: Virago, 1983), p. 199. The emphasis on "half' is mine. Egerton's volume of short stories proved influential in the ways it redefined female sexual desire and gender identities at the fin de siecle.
(33) John Fiske, "Werewolves and Swan-Maidens," The Atlantic Monthly, August 1871 (accessed March 28, 2018), https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1871/08 /werewolves-and-swan-maidens/376157/.
(34) Charles Hazelwood Shannon, "The Grinding of the Wrack." Iillustration for Graham R. Tomson, "The Quern of the Giants," Universal Magazine, 1889.
(35) Joseph Bristow, "The Armytage-Tomson-Watson Sequence: Poetic Illustrations in the Periodical Press, 1886-96," Victorian Literature and Culture 34, no. 2 (2006): 540.
(36) William Watson, review of A Summer Night and Other Poems, by Graham R. Tomson, Academy 41 (January 9, 1892): 30-31.
(37) Jacques Derrida, Spectres de Marx: l'etat de la dette, le travail du deuil et la nouvelle Internationale (Paris: Galilee, 1997), p. 75. My translation.
(38) Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, Echographies de la television: entretiens filmes (Paris: Galilee, Institut. National de l'Autovisuel, 1996), p. 131. (Original quotation: "La logique spectrale est de facto une logique deconstructrice"; my translation.)
(39) Alexander D. Warrack and William Grant, Chambers Scot Dictionary: A Scots Dialect Dictionary, Serving as a Glossary for Ramsay, Fergusson, Burns, Scott, Gait, Minor Poets, Kailyard Novelists, and a Host of Other Writers of the Scottish Tongue (Edinburg: W. & R. Chambers, 1974). Cited in O'Brien, The Romance of the Lyric, pp. 155, 234.
(40) Roland Barthes, Mythologies (New York: Hill and Wang, 1972), p. 155.
(41) Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda, Tales from Norse Mythology, Jean I. Young, trans. (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1954), p. 56.
(42) Gary S. Morson, "The Chronotope of Humanness: Bakhtin and Dostoevsky," in Bakhtin's Theory of the Literary Chronotope: Reflections, Applications, Perspectives, ed. Nele Bemong, Pieter Borghart, Michel De Dobbeleer, and Kristoffel Demoen (Ghent: Ginko, Academia Press, 2010), p. 95.
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