Although vastly popular during its time, much nineteenth-century women’s fiction in the United States went unread by the twentieth-century educated elite, who were taught to ignore it as didactic. However, American literature has a tradition of didacticism going back to its Puritan roots, shifting over time from sermons and poetic transcripts into novels, which proved to be perfect vehicles for conveying social values. In the nineteenth century, critics reviled Poe for neglecting to conclude his stories with pithy moral tags, while Longfellow was canonized for his didactic verse.Although rhetorical changes favoring the anti-didactic can be detected as nineteenth-century American transformed itself into a secular society, it was twentieth-century criticism, which placed aesthetic value above everything else, that had no place in its doctrine for the didacticism of others.
In the early twentieth century, small magazines and the innovative graphics used on them created the face of the avant-guard. It was a look that signaled progressive ideas and unconventionality because it dispensed with the cardinal rule of graphic design: to take an idea and make it visually clear, concise, and instantly understood. Instead, graphics produced by avant-guard artists exclusively for the avant-guard (as opposed to their advertising work) were usually difficult to decipher, ambiguous, or nonsensical. This overturning of convention, this assailing of standard graphic and typographic formats, was part of a search for intellectual freedom. The impulse toward liberation enabled avant-guardists to see with fresh eyes untried possibilities for arranging and relating words and images on paper.
An alarming number of Mediterranean monk seals, an endangered species, have recently died. Postmortem analysis showed the presence of an as yet unidentified virus, as well as evidence of a known bacterial toxin. Seawater samples from the area where the seals died did contain unusually high concentrations of the toxic bacterium. Therefore, although both viruses and bacterial toxins can kill seals, it is more likely that these deaths were the result of the bacterial toxin.
Which of the following, if true, provides additional evidence to support the conclusion?
A：Viruses are much more difficult to identify in postmortem analysis than bacteria are.
B：Mediterranean monk seals are the only species of seal in the area where the bacterium was found.
C：The bacterium is almost always present in the water in at least small concentrations.
D：Nearly all the recent deaths were among adult seals, but young seals are far more susceptible to viruses than are adult seals.
E：Several years ago, a large number of monk seals died in the same area as a result of exposure to a different bacterial toxin.
Massive projectiles striking much larger bodies create various kinds of craters, including “multi-ring basins”—the largest geologic features observed on planets and moons. In such collisions, the impactor is completely destroyed and its material is incorporated into the larger body. Collisions between bodies of comparable size, on the other hand, have very different consequences: one or both bodies might be entirely smashed, with mass from one or both the bodies redistributed among new objects formed from the fragments. Such a titanic collision between Earth and a Mars-size impactor may have given rise to Earth’s Moon.
The Earth-moon system has always been perplexing. Earth is the only one of the inner planets with a large satellite, the orbit of which is neither in the equatorial plane of Earth nor in the plane in which the other planets lie. The Moon’s mean density is much lower than that of Earth but is about the same as that of Earth’s mantle. This similarity in density has long prompted speculation that the Moon split away from a rapidly rotating Earth, but this idea founders on two observations. In order to spin off the Moon, Earth would have had to rotate so fast that a day would have lasted less than three hours. Science offers no plausible explanation of how it could have slowed to its current rotational rate from that speed. Moreover, the Moon’s composition, though similar to that of Earth’s mantle, is not a precise match. Theorizing a titanic collision eliminates postulating a too-rapidly spinning Earth and accounts for the Moon’s peculiar composition. In a titanic collision model, the bulk of the Moon would have formed from a combination of material from the impactor and Earth’s mantle. Most of the earthly component would have been in the form of melted or vaporized matter. The difficulty inrecondensing this vapor in Earth’s orbit, and its subsequent loss to the vacuum of outer space, might account for the observed absence in lunar rocks of certain readily vaporized compounds and elements.
Unusual features of some other planets might also be explained by such impacts. Mercury is known to have a high density in comparison with other rocky planets. A titanic impact could have stripped away a portion of its rocky mantle, leaving behind a metallic core whose density is out of proportion with the original ratio of rock to metal. A massive, glancing blow to Venus might have given it its anomalously slow spin and reversed direction of rotation. Such conjectures are tempting, but, since no early planet was immune to titanic impacts, they could be used indiscriminately to explain away in a cavalier fashion every unusual planetary characteristic. Still, we may now be beginning to discern the true role of titanic impacts in planetary history.
Jane Austen’s relationship to Romanticism has long been a vexed one. Although her dates (1775-1817) place her squarely within the period, she traditionally has been studied apart from the male poets whose work defined British Romanticism for most of the twentieth century. In the past her novels were thought to follow an Augustan mode at odds with the Romantic ethos. Even with the advent of historicist and feminist criticism, which challenged many previous characterizations of Austen as detached from the major social, political, and aesthetic currents of her time, she continued to be distinguished from her male contemporaries. Jerome McCann, for example, insists that Austen does not espouse the Romantic ideology. Anne Mellor declares that Austen, along with other “leading women intellectual and writers of the day” “did not,” participate in the Romantic “spirit of the age” but instead embraced an alternative ideology that Mellor labels “feminine Romanticism”.
To be sure, some critics throughout the years have argued for Austen’s affinities with one or more of the male Romantic poets. A special issue of the Wordsworth Circle (Autumn 1976) was devoted to exploring connections between Austen and her male contemporaries. Clifford Siskin in his historicist study of Romanticism argued that Austen does participate in the same major innovation, the naturalization of belief in a developing self, as characterizes Wordsworth’s poetry and other key works from the period. Recently, three books have appeared (by Clara Tuite, William Galperin, and William Deresiewicz) that in various ways treat Austen as a Romantic writer and together signal a shift in the tendency to segregate the major novelist of the age from the major poets.
The present essay seeks to contribute to this goal of firmly integrating Austen within the Romantic movement and canon. It does so by pointing out affinities between Austen and a writer with whom she has not commonly been associated, John Keats. Most comparisons of Austen and the Romantic poets have focused on Wordsworth and Byron, whose works we know she read. Although Austen could not have read Keats’s poems, which only began to appear in print during the last years of her life, and there is no evidence that Keats knew Austen’s novels, a number of important similarities can be noted in these writers’ works that provide further evidence to link Austen with the Romantic movement, especially the period of second-generation Romanticism when all of her novels were published.