Carwin, the ventriloquist anti-hero at the center of Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland, employs his own voice like a catalyst, as his duplicitous tricks expose the unconscious determinants of the Wielands' behavior. Critics have read Carwin and his biloquism as figures for novelist, novel writing, and finally, imaginative pursuits in general. I argue that Carwin's destructive "play" is at least partially valorized in the narrative, and in this way echoes the usefully destabilizing work of imaginative production that I would identify with an interested and insurgent model of aesthetics. This "interested" aesthetic draws on the utopian elements found in both the eighteenth-century tradition of sensibility and the new Kantian aesthetic, moving beyond the legitimating function of these various aesthetic ideologies.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 255-271
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.