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Reviews113 combined to produce the photograph, another of the Victorian triumphs over time and space, leading to fashions such as cartes de visite and pictures on postcards, themselves a hugely popular Victorian craze. Even the Queen and Albert kept a darkroom at Windsor. But not everyone approved. "The Weekly Times and Echo in 1893 applauded the formation of a 'Vigilance Association with the purpose of thrashing cads with cameras who go about in seaside places taking snapshots of ladies emerging from the deep. ' " This is a book of impressive erudition. Its bibliographical notes are a great convenience for further reading, and the index is extensive. It is, perhaps, an odd book, tending towards an anatomy, but I like odd books, Burton ' s Anatomy, Tristram Shandy, Sartor Resartus. Within its general compass, it goes off in all directions and sometimes fatigues attention, but it adds up to a significant piece of cultural history, a worthy successor to Victorian People and Victorian Cities. R. D. McMaster University ofAlberta Jerome J. McGann, ed. Victorian Connections. Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 1989. 214. $29.50 US. This collection of essays is offered in "homage" to Cecil Y. Lang by a group of Victorianists influenced by his teaching and his scholarship, especially as these matured during the more than thirty years Lang spent at the University of Virginia. Such Festschriften can be notoriously uneven, and this particular collection does not quite live up to the publisher's claim that it "definefs] the shape that Victorian studies will be taking in the immediate future." However, the general quality of the essays assembled here is remarkably high, while a number of the connections they explore will surely inspire further work along similar lines. The first essay in the collection is an enterprising piece by Jerome McGann in which he makes connections between the history of literary studies in the United States since 1945 and the career of Cecil Lang. His comments are not of "merely" biographical interest but demonstrate, in part through a shrewd comparison between the careers of Lang and Paul de Man, how far we have come in understanding the social forces that shape scholarship, however disinterested that scholarship may purport to 114Victorian Review be. McGann ' s development beyond formalism in his own work as critic and editor is seen to be anticipated and authorized by Lang ' s practice in editing the correspondence of Swinburne, Tennyson, and now Matthew Arnold. It is a practice distinguished by "first of aU, a materialist orientation toward the texts, their producers, and their reproducers; second, an uncompromising insistence upon accuracy and procedural rigor at every level, from the most abstract areas of critical method to the local details of prose style; and third, a clear understanding that memory—not forgetting—is the mother of the muses, and one of the essential bases of aU culture as weU" (6). Many of us who admire the erudition and insight displayed by Lang may have wondered why he has not written more criticism. McGann offers a persuasive explanation of Lang ' s commitment to the editor ' s craft, and in the process makes some challenging claims about what is most valuable in the range of activities available to professional students of uterature, and to Victorians in particular. The principal lessons of a career like Lang's would seem to be the following: daring to defy academic fashion may cost the scholar influence and celebrity in the short run, but the American academy is sufficiently large and diverse to accommodate and reward someone who was "already moving out of fashion in 1949"; a commitment to phüology and history may result in more enduring achievement than New Criticism and deconstruction can lay claim to; and, perhaps most important of all, there ought to be as much consistency as possible between a scholar's pedagogy and her publications. Lang's beUef in diversity and divergence as indelibly marking the materials of Victorian (or any other) culture caused him to teach and write with a humility more ironic than abject, and he must surely be pleased by the kinds of indirect and independent tributes to him offered here. The essay by Karen Chase that foUows McGann ' s...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 113-116
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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