In the news, but not of the news

In his recent essay “William Wordsworth Saves the Internet,” our colleague Fiore Sireci shows the value of public humanities for cultural criticism. Sireci works at the intersection of Romanticist literary criticism, book history, and the digital humanities to show us how Romantic poets plugged into (and unplugged from) the “internet of the time”: that “global torrent of information” emanating from late eighteenth century broadsheets, chapbooks, newspapers, magazines, and public readings of “the news.” By “listening to common folk” and re-immersing themselves in the natural world, Sirechi writes, Wordsworth, Blake, Smith, Coleridge, Thoreau and others found “a way forward” into the “space of cultural memory” via “its primary vehicle, poetry.”

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