By Clyde De L. Ryals
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Extra resources for A World of Possibilities: Romantic Irony in Victorian Literature
To thee I was but as a Voice. Yet was our relation a kind of sacred one; doubt not that! For whatsoever once sacred things become Carlyles The French Revolution 23 hollow jargons, yet while the Voice of Man speaks with Man, hast thou not there the living fountain out of which all sacrednesses sprang, and will yet spring? ' Ill stands it with me if 1 have spoken falsely; thine also it was to hear truly. Farewell. (4:323) The French Revolution is the closest that Carlyle would ever come to Schlegel's ideal of synthetist art of symphilosophy and sympoe try, in which the author "constructs and creates his own read er; he makes that which he invented gradually take place before the reader's eyes, or he tempts him to do the inventing for himself" (L 112, KA 2:161).
180), a "tale" (p. 504), a "genteel and sentimen tal novel" (p. 130), and a "play" (p. 666). 6 36^ Vanity Fair: Transcendental Buffoonery Presiding over this variegated mixture is a narrator whose roles are diverse and whose dress is that of a clown. Shown on the title pages of the serial issues and the book is the buffo, called in the prologue ("Before the Curtain") "the Manager of the Perfor mance" (p. 5). He introduces the "Puppets" in "the Show1' to follow, then "retires, and the curtain rises" (p.
453) Tapeworm . poured out . such a history about Becky and her husband . and supplied all the points of this narrative (p. 644). Further, he apologizes for his inability to render certain scenes accurately because of his linguistic inadequacy: as no pen can depict (p. 16) If I had the pen of a Napier, or a Bell's life, I should like to describe this combat properly (p. 49) Who can tell the dread with which that catalogue was opened and read! (p. 340) it does not become such a feeble and inexperienced pen as mine to attempt to relate (p.