Street Songs
Writers and urban songs and cries, 1800-1925

Clarendon Lectures in English Series


Language: Anglais
Cover of the book Street Songs

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224 p. · 14.5x22.3 cm · Hardback
This book, based on the Clarendon Lectures for 2016, is about the use made by poets and novelists of street songs and cries. Karlin begins with the London street-vendor's cry of 'Cherry-ripe!', as it occurs in poems from the sixteenth to the twentieth century: the 'Cries of London' (and Paris) exemplify the fascination of this urban art to writers of every period. Focusing on nineteenth and early twentieth century writers, the book traces the theme in works by William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Walt Whitman, George Gissing, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Marcel Proust. As well as street-cries, these writers incorporate ballads, folk songs, religious and political songs, and songs of their own invention into crucial scenes, and the singers themselves range from a one-legged beggar in Dublin to a famous painter in fifteenth-century Florence. The book concludes with the beautiful and unlikely 'song' of a knife-grinder's wheel. Throughout the book Karlin emphasizes the rich complexity of his subject. The street singer may be figured as an urban Orpheus, enchanting the crowd and possessed of magical powers of healing and redemption
Daniel Karlin is Winterstoke Professor of English Literature at the University of Bristol. He has previously held appointments at the University of Sheffield, at Boston University, and at University College London. His research spans poetry and fiction of the long nineteenth century; he has particular interests in the poetry of Robert Browning, in the writings of Walt Whitman, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, and Marcel Proust, and in the relations between poetry and song. His most recent book is The Figure of the Singer (Oxford University Press, 2013).