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Historicizing authorship - the run-away author in Jonathan Swift’s A tale of the tub: The attribution debate reconsidered
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Berättande Liv Mening)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7232-2832
2017 (English)In: The eighteenth century –past and present: Book of abstracts, 2017, 37-37 p.Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The analysis of the author-function in Jonathan Swift’s A Tale of a Tub in this paper is part of a project that traces the changing notions of authorship through the eighteenth century, primarily in relation to satire, parody, and meta-fiction, which are often interpreted with reference to authorial intention. As I argue here, if we are to historicize authorships in a way that elucidates the literary works, a discussion of intentionality is indeed necessary. A versatile approach to authorial intention serves this purpose, seeking “the best position for receiving the utterance of a … particular, historically embedded author” (Levinson), a position which, in the case of satiric and parodic works, includes the rhetorical situation. Criticism of Jonathan Swift’s Tale of a Tub is often informed by the attribution debate around the first, 1704 edition; the fifth, 1710 edition, inscribes these speculations about authorship through the added Apology and footnotes, presumably unmasking the author’s true intent (though not his identity), and providing a key to ironic allusions. However, as I argue here, rather than arresting the carnivalesque game (through the Hack persona) of the Tale proper, these additions feature a new version of the “run-away author," highlighting the “densely allusive intertextual nature” of the text (Griffith). As part and parcel of the dedications and the preface of the first edition, the new texts of the 1710 edition exhibit the kind of self-reflexive irony that characterizes metafictive novels of a later date, reflecting on the authorial activity, on other writers, and on the audience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. 37-37 p.
Keyword [en]
English literature, satire, parody, authorial intention, metafiction
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-64115OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-64115DiVA: diva2:1173700
Conference
The second Nordic conference in eighteenth-century studies (NCECS 2017): “The Eighteenth Century: Past and Present”, Uppsala, Sweden, October 12-14, 2017
Available from: 2018-01-13 Created: 2018-01-13 Last updated: 2018-01-15Bibliographically approved

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Uddén, Anna

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