Synopses & Reviews
Wieland; or The Transformation (1798) ties revolutionary-era Gothic themes to struggles over the politics of Enlightenment on both sides of the Atlantic.
This edition of Wieland includes Brown's Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist and writings on Cicero, as well as his key essays on history and literature, and selections from contemporary German and other texts that figure in the novel's background and in the charged atmosphere of the late 1790s.
An impressive edition . . . the most thoroughly satisfying historical and literary contextualization for the novel that I've ever encountered. Shapiro and Barnard offer a rich transatlantic artistic and ideological context that helps pull the whole novel into coherent focus. The footnotes to the novel are incredibly thorough, helpful, and interesting. . . . This Hackett edition of Wieland [is] the freshest and most topical of those now available. --Dana D. Nelson, Vanderbilt University
The 'related texts' are impressive . . . This edition gives a fresh perspective on sources. Wieland's Germanic literary influences are shown to subvert the conservative aims of the ideas of Enlightened Absolutism, practised by Frederick the Great. Gottfried Burger's influential poem, Lenore, extracts from German horror and Illuminati novel, and the writings of Christoph Martin Wieland (whose name Brown borrowed) deepen our understanding of Brown's progressive politics as displayed in this novel.--Max Fincher, Times Literary Supplement
In a state thus verging upon madness, my eye glanced upon Carwin. His astonishment appeared to have struck him motionless and dumb. My life was in danger, and my brother's hand was about to be embrued in my blood. I firmly believed that Carwin's was the instigation. I could rescue me from this abhorred fate; I could dissipate this tremendous illusion.
About the Author
Philip Barnard is Professor in the Department of English at the University of Kansas.Stephen Shapiro is Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.