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Berensmeyer, Ingo (2009): Eighteenth-Century English Poetry and the Novel: Decline vs. Rise or 'Novelisation'? In: Germanisch-romanische Monatsschrift, Vol. 59, No. 2: pp. 239-255
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Abstract

This article explores the development of English poetry in the eighteenth century in relation to the emergence of prose fiction, arguing for a less novel-centred perspective in eighteenth-century literary history and for a a more inclusive, media-oriented approach to the study of literary genres in general. It demonstrates how Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift respond to the challenges of a new media culture by a thematic shift towards `urban realism' in the mock epic and mock georgic. On that basis, it then analyses Thomas Gray's Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard as a complex reflection on the role of poetry in competition with the novel in eighteenth-century print culture.