Andrew Lang’s ideas on the nature and sources of originality seem fated for renewed attention due to the ways they appear to have forecast or anticipated modern attempts to get beyond the celebration of individual creativity. But rather than simply illustrating recent theoretical truisms, Lang’s formulations, whether developed in his writings on myth or in his texts devoted to literary topics, present subtle and not easily resolved challenges to attempts to dissolve individuality and agency into a greater communal whole. For Lang, because the effective use of material from the past to arrive at new forms is the measure of individual creativity, no work can ever make a claim to absolute originality. However, the prestige of the author, though hedged about by survivals from a lost past, is not for that reason lost. To recognize the tension between inherited material and new achievement is to begin to do justice to the historical place and conceptual force of the Andrew Lang effect.
Jonah Siegel, Professor of English at Rutgers University, is the author of Desire and Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art (Princeton UP, 2000) and Haunted Museum: Longing, Travel, and the Art-Romance Tradition (Princeton UP, 2005), and the editor of The Emergence of the Modern Museum: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Sources (Oxford UP, 2008). His current projects include a study of the interplay of politics, desire, and the circulation of art around the Napoleonic period and another on the place of the material in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century concepts of art.
- Auden, Hugh Wynstan. “September 1, 1939.” Selected Poems. Ed. Eward Mendelson. New York: Vintage, 2007. 95-97. Print.
- Auerbach, Erich. “Figura.” 1944. Scenes from the Drama of EuropeanLiterature. New York: Meridien, 1959.11-76. Print.
- Beckett, Samuel. “Texts for Nothing.” Stories and Texts for Nothing. 1955. New York: Grove, 1967. Print.
- Benjamin, Walter. “Theses on the Philosophy of History.” 1950. Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken, 1969. 253-264. Print.
- Crawford, Robert. “Pater’s Renaissance, Andrew Lang, and Anthropological Romanticism.” ELH 53.4 (1986): 849-79. Print.
- Dorson, Richard. The British Folklorists: A History. London: Routledge, 1968. Print.
- Foucault, Michel, “What is an Author.” Textual Strategies. Ed. Josue V. Harari. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1979. 141-60. Print.
- Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. 1920. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Ed. J. Strachey. London: Hogarth Press, 1955. 18:1-64. Print.
- Freud, Sigmund. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality.1905. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Ed. J. Strachey. London: Hogarth Press, 1955. 7: 125-245 Print.
- Freud, Sigmund. Totem and Taboo.1913. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Ed. J. Strachey. London: Hogarth Press, 1955. 13: 1-161. Print.
- Gide, André. Oscar Wilde. Paris: Mercure de France, 1905. Print.
- Hodgen, Margaret T. “The Doctrine Of Survivals: The History of an Idea.” American Anthropologist 33 (1931): 307-324. Print.
- Lang, Andrew. Homer and the Epic. London: Longmans, 1893. Print.
- Lang, Andrew. Introduction. The Antiquary by Walter Scott. Ed. Andrew Lang. London: Macmillan, 1901. Print.
- Lang, Andrew. “Kalevala, or; The Finnish National Epic.” Fraser’s Magazine ns 5 (1872): 667-677. Print.
- Lang, Andrew. “Literary Plagiarism.” Contemporary Review 51 (1887): 831-840. Print.
- Lang, Andrew. Modern Mythology. London: Longmans, 1897. Print.
- Pater, Walter. Greek Studies. 1895. London: Macmillan, 1925. Print.
- Pater, Walter. The Renaissance. 1873. Ed. Donald Hill. Berkeley: U of California P, 1980. Print.
- Ruskin, John. The Stones of Venice.1853. The Works of John Ruskin. Ed. E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn. Vol. 10. London: George Allen, 1903. Print.
- Siegel, Jonah. Desire and Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2000. Print.
- Stocking Jr., George W. “Matthew Arnold, E.B. Tylor, and the Uses of Invention.” American Anthropologist ns 65 (1963): 783-799. Print.
- Wilde, Oscar. “Soul of Man Under Socialism.” 1891 Complete Works. London: Collins, 1986. 1170-1189. Print.