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"Knowable Communities" from Raymond Williams' The Country an

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Brittany Kolody-Dyke

on 24 September 2015

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Transcript of "Knowable Communities" from Raymond Williams' The Country an

"Knowable Communities" from Raymond Williams'
The Country and the City
Charles Dickens – works focus on early to mid 19th century English city life of the working class and the poor

Jane Austen – novels focus on 19th century English country life of the upper middle class

Ben Jonson – Renaissance playwright who celebrates the lifestyles of the lower classes

George Eliot – mid to late 19th century novelist focussing on the English country life of the middle and lower classes

George Crabbe – English poet, surgeon, and clergyman of the late 18th to mid 19th centuries

Thomas Hardy – late 19th to early 20th century novelist writing about lower and middle classes and being critical of the effects of industrialism on rural England

D.H. Lawrence – English novelist, poet, of the late 19th to early 20th centuries

Anthony Trollope – 19th century English novelist

Emily Brontë – 19th century English novelist

Henry James – late 19th and early 20th century American novelist, working in Britain in the genre of literary realism with emphasis on points of view and perception

F. R. Leavis – early to mid 20th century British literary critic

Literary References in Raymond Williams’ Knowable Communities
(165) Dickens
(166) Jane Austen, Ben Jonson, George Eliot [
Adam Bede
], Crabbe, Thomas Hardy
(167) [
Adam Bede
– Aunt Samuel, Mr. Donnithorne, Mrs. Poyser, Adam Bede, Hetty Sorrel]
(168) Jane Austen, George Eliot [
Adam Bede
– the Poysers, Mary Ann Evans, Adam, Dinah, Hetty;
The Mill on the Floss
– the Cleggs, the Dodsons]
(169) George Eliot [Adam, Daniel, Maggie, Felix Holt, the Poysers, the Cleggs and Dodsons], Jane Austen
(170) George Eliot, Hardy, Lawrence
(171) George Eliot, Hardy, Lawrence, self
(172) [
The Mill on the Floss
], George Eliot, [
Adam Bede
], Crabbe [
The Village
(173) George Eliot [
Adam Bede
– Hetty, Adam Bede, Dinah Morris;
The Mill on the Floss
– the Dodsons, Tulliver], Hardy [
Tess of the D’Ubervilles
], Arthur?
(174) George Eliot [
Felix Holt
– Esther, Mrs. Transome, Jermyn, Felix Holt;
], Anthony Trollope [Doctor Thorne]
(175) George Eliot [
Felix Holt
– the Transomes;
Daniel Deronda
– the Grandcourts]
(176) Emily Brontë [
Wuthering Heights
– Heathcliff, Cathy], George Eliot [Daniel Deronda], Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence, Jane Austen, Henry James
(177) George Eliot [
Adam Bede
(178) Dickens, George Eliot [
Felix Holt
– Clare]
(179) George Eliot
(180) George Eliot, Mr. Leavis
(181) George Eliot [
Daniel Deronda
], Henry James, Hardy

Wuthering Heights
Felix Holt

“The complication of the plot is then sustained by a single feeling, which is the act of transcendence. George Eliot, by contrast, working in a more critically realist world, conceives and yet cannot sustain acceptable social solutions; it is then not
but a
sad resignation
on which she finally comes to rest.” (176)

A critical look at author’s treatment of inheritance as an analysis of socio-economic relationships in 19th century England?

"According to Marx,
means not only abolishing the dehumanizing conditions of human life but also preserving the true essence of the human person and shaping the person’s own destiny by going beyond the given."

Need to cite: http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=1572&C=1509
(probably not going to be a slide)
To be considered educated at the time you had to go to the Oxford boarding school, which only the wealthiest two percent of the population got to do.

Eliot went to school until sixteen, Hardy was trained as an architect and Lawrence graduated from college, none of which were considered to be formally educated.

The lower class was seen as “unfashionable.”

Inheritance plot – the story of how inheritance is passed down

Raymond Williams Other Works
Culture and Society
The Long Revolution
People of the Black Mountanis
“Life is not a task to him, [Old Leisure], but a sinecure.” (177)

a position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit.

“Old Leisure is history... [Eliot's description is] characteristic of what has become a main form of the modern rural retrospect.” (178)

"The knowable community [is] a selected society in a selected point of view.” (179)

“A natural country ease is contrasted with an unnatural urban unrest.” (180)
Academic/Professional Career:

- professor of English at Cambridge

- one of the founders of the "New Left Review"

- wrote many books (both fiction and non-fiction) dealing with Marxism/New Left principles

Young Life:

- born 1921 near Abergavenny, Wales

-son of a railwayman

-educated at a grammar school

-brought to Trinity College as a "scholarship boy"

-took a break before completing his M.A. to fight in WWII
Cultural Materialism:

A type of literary criticism which attempted to reconstruct the Zeitgeist of the past by analyzing historical documents. The focus of this analysis is on canonical works and the power structures out of which they gained influence and a seat in the "cultural imaginary". Not only does this theory look at the past, but it also acknowledges the view present society.
Knowable Communities
Jane Austen
George Eliot
(Mary Ann Evans)
Owner vs. tenant in
Adam Bede
'What a fine old kitchen this is' said Mr Donnithorne, looking around admiringly. He always spoke in the same deliberate, well-chiselled, polite way, whether his words were sugary or venomous.
pg. 167
Mr. Marx
Paulose, Paulose Mar. "Chapter 5: Transcendence According to Marx."
Encounter in Humanization: Insights for Christian-Marxist Dialogue and Cooperation
. Religion Online, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.
“A valuing society, the common condition of a knowable community, belongs ideally in the past.” (180)

"Value is in the past, as a general retrospective condition, and is in the present only as a particular and private sensibility, the individual moral action." (180)
The Heights
The Grange
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