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TALK: Julie Park, “Making Storylines in the Country House Poem: Interiority and the Play of Perspective in Marvell’s Upon Appleton House“
November 19, 2015 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Andrew Marvell’s Upon Appleton House is known for exemplifying the seventeenth-century genre of the country house poem while also disrupting its conventions. This paper suggests the generic liminality of Marvell’s poem anticipates the development of the domestic novel and its signature interiority. That the poet in Upon Appleton House is conscious of his perspective as perspective in different parts of the estate that he roams throughout the poem models a new psychological experience of the manor house as an interactive environment rather than a fixed symbol of the owner’s virtues. This paper will focus on the playful distortions of scale and anamorphic imagery in the poem’s meadow section as unrecognized precedents for the narrative technique of point of view. It is this technique that produces the following century’s shape-shifting stories of mind taking place on country house estates, from Richardson to Austen.
Julie Park is an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College, as well as a Visiting Research Associate at Caltech and a Resident Scholar of the Huntington Library.