James Hogg, Anecdotes of Scott. Ed. Jill Rubenstein. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999. ISBN: 0 7486 0933 4. Price: £40.James Hogg, The Spy. Ed. Gillian Hughes. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000. ISBN: 0 7486 1365 X. Price: £65.James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Ed. Peter Garside. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001. ISBN: 0 7486 1414 1. Price: £35.
Résumé | Extrait
Like Charles Lamb, James Hogg was unfortunate in his surname. For Lamb, it reinforced notions of saintly gentle-heartedness that climaxed when Algernon Swinburne damned him with excessively sentimental praise: "no good criticism of Lamb, strictly speaking, can ever be written", Swinburne declared; "because nobody can do justice to his work who does not love it too well to feel himself capable of giving judgment on it." It took Lamb criticism most of the twentieth century to recover from such mawkishness. For Hogg, on the other hand, the surname triggered an endless series of banal porcine puns, and corroborated a view of him as a vulgar, rural outsider who did not possess the intellect to travel in the sophisticated literary circles of early nineteenth-century Edinburgh. Victorian editors dealt with Hogg's "coarseness" in the way that they usually dealt with such matters: bowdlerization. Hogg was sanitized and selectively presented for polite circles, with the result that most of the dark anxieties and insights that haunt his work remained virtually unknown until well into the twentieth century. The situation began to improve in the 1970s, and is now changing dramatically with the new Stirling / South Carolina Collected Works of James Hogg, a projected thirty-one volume edition under the general editorship of Douglas S. Mack. Nine volumes of the edition have already appeared, among which the most recent are Anecdotes of Scott, Hogg's frank account of his most famous friend and contemporary; The Spy, the weekly newspaper that Hogg produced in Edinburgh in 1810-11; and The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Hogg's best known book, and a profoundly disturbing exploration of retribution, perversion, and fanaticism. Like the six previous volumes, these new titles are meticulously edited and filled with essential information that continually illuminates the complexities and tensions of Hogg's texts, including the ways in which he lamented, dismissed, condemned, and exploited the snobbish guffaws prompted by his surname.
Jill Rubenstein's edition of Anecdotes of Scott features two separate texts. The first, Anecdotes of Sir W. Scott, is a transcription of a manuscript belonging to the National Library of New Zealand that was first published in 1983. Hogg produced this account after the death of Scott in September 1832, and in response to a request from the opportunistic London publisher John M'Crone. "There are not above five people in the world who, I think, know Sir Walter better, or understand his character better, than I do", Hogg had written in 1829, and he used this inside knowledge to produce a lively and sometimes indiscrete account that included references to Lady Scott's opium addiction and "the thousands of lees" that Scott had told regarding his authorship of the Waverley novels (xxxi, 11; Hogg's italics). M'Crone was delighted, but when Scott's son-in-law J. G. Lockhart saw the manuscript he was furious,...
|Auteur :||Robert Morrison|
|Ouvrages recensés :||James Hogg, Anecdotes of Scott. Ed. Jill Rubenstein. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999. ISBN: 0 7486 0933 4. Price: £40.|
|James Hogg, The Spy. Ed. Gillian Hughes. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000. ISBN: 0 7486 1365 X. Price: £65.|
|James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Ed. Peter Garside. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001. ISBN: 0 7486 1414 1. Price: £35.|
|Revue :||Romanticism on the Net, Numéro 23, août 2001|
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