Crain, Patricia
Postures and Places: The Child Reader in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Popular Print
Teil von
  • ELH, 2013, Vol.80(2), pp.343-372
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[...]notwithstanding the cultural gravity of childhood reading, histories and theories of reading tend to gloss children's reading in the past as a history of schoolroom practices alone.1 In what follows, I argue that the immersive, absorptive, Romantic reading practice that has become the desideratum for middle-class reading in the United States emerged in the form we most recognize in an iconic image of a child reader that began to circulate at the end of the nineteenth century. An absorption without duration, its object can be changed freely and easily.11 This might suggest that it's an absorption that precedes or exceeds any particular object, and so might seem to belong to the absorption that nineteenth-century discourse attaches to two sites: children, as agents and objects of attention; and reading or books, as absorbing activity or medium.12 This image captures the suturing of a model of Romantic reading-absorptive, immersive, self-forgetting-with a Romantic figure of childhood-absorbed...
ISSN: 0013-8304
ISSN: 1080-6547
DOI: 10.1353/elh.2013.0020
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