Rendezvous with the Scholar-Gipsy


The culture of reading has changed, and with it certain values that literature has always tried zealously to guard (with mixed success) from the marauding invasion of the social sciences and the neo-materialism of the non-humanities. How much money can the reading of a poem bring? How saleable is Shakespeare? How can our rendezvous with literature be made materially productive, so that it pushes up the GDP on the nation’s economic index? How important is it, then, to see the scholar-gipsy as unwaveringly redemptive, rescuing the Victorians from their state of feverishness and distraction?

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