In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

ELT 47 : 4 2004 Moreover, I address Molly's apparent contradictions and her ambivalence towards Boylan on pages 184-94 of my book, with specific quotations from Molly's monologue. I argue that Molly's seeming contradictions and her mutable sentiments suggest a dynamic character struggling to come to terms with her world and her place in her world. Gordon is certainly entitled to his opinion on both Molly's reaction to Boylan and Bloom's reaction to Stephen. However, he presents his opinion in his review as fact and questions not the argument of my book but rather its veracity. I respect the right of reviewers to express their opinions about the arguments in a text and also to point out errors of fact the text under review might commit. However, in reviewing a book, a reviewer must also realize the responsibility to accurately reflect the book's content and to conduct the review using a professional tone. Gordon does not accurately reflect my book's content. Moreover, his review gives way to a clear lack of professionalism in his use of language. Gordon likens my work to "projectile masturbation" (341). I have never met John Gordon. However, I have read his published criticism with admiration and am willing to "shrug off" his misreading of my text as a momentary spasm in the career of a distinguished critic. BERNARD MCKENNA __________________ Drew University Rejoinder To Stanley Weintraub's Review: Emma Sutton, Aubrey Beardsley and British Wagnerism in the 1890s. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. ELT, 46.3 (2003), 308-12. STANLEY WEINTRAUB'S review of Aubrey Beardsley and British Wagnerism in the 1890s makes a number of criticisms of my monograph . Grateful though I am for Professor Weintraub's interest, and the praise that accompanies these criticisms, a number of his observations misrepresent significant aspects of my work. I am therefore glad of the opportunity to respond to some of them—not least because they are illustrative of the continuing critical debates about fin -de-siècle aestheticism . The most telling of these criticisms is Weintraub's objection that I "sweepingly" describe the aestheticism of the 1890s as a period of "'florid, apolitical art.'" His statement not only contradicts the fundamental premise of my study, but also suggests the root of some of his other objections. As the introduction indicates, the purpose of the mono493 BOOK REVIEWS graph is to examine music's role as a form of "political discourse" in the 1890s; specifically, to examine the way in which Beardsley and his contemporaries (including Wilde, Henry James, Vernon Lee and Shaw) used references to Wagner's work as a means of exploring questions of sexuality, racial identity, national identity and class (15). My discussions of Beardsley's Wagnerian visual art and prose aim to demonstrate the political resonance of his texts, the extent to which music was self-consciously employed by Beardsley and others as a means of representing contentious political subjects. The second chapter, for instance, explores the ways in which Wagner's music became associated with homosexuality and with the decadent movement, and the part that this association played in Wilde's and Beardsley's reputations around the time of Wilde's trials. The third chapter considers the seminal role that music played in conceptions of race in the 1890s—a phenomenon informed by a complex conjunction of factors including Wagner's anti-Semitism, the prominence of Jewish musicians in British musical life, and the role of music in evolutionary and racial theory from Darwin to Herbert Spencer. As these comments might suggest, although the book explores in unprecedented detail the complexity of the Wagnerian allusions in Beardsley's work and offers readings of several drawings that have not previously been interpreted, its principal focus is on the cultural history of the 1890s. It is for this reason that I examine many of the subjects to which Weintraub objects—the association of Wagnerism and homosexuality , and the perception oÃ- The Yellow Book as a "decadent" journal, for example. Similarly, I concentrate on the published rather than the uncirculated manuscript version of Beardsley's Under the Hill, not out of "squeamishness" but out of a concern...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 493-495
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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.