Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Connected ConditionRomanticism and the Dream of Communication$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Yohei Igarashi

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781503610040

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503610040.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

Wordsworth and Bureaucratic Form

Wordsworth and Bureaucratic Form

Chapter:
(p.74) 2 Wordsworth and Bureaucratic Form
Source:
The Connected Condition
Author(s):

Yohei Igarashi

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9781503610040.003.0002

This chapter considers William Wordsworth’s thirty-year civil service career as a Distributor of Stamps to examine how Romantic literature was shaped by several intertwined developments: the formation of a fiscal bureaucracy in Britain during the long eighteenth century, the attendant proliferation of bureaucratic genres and media, and utilitarian theories of administrative efficiency. This chapter argues that Wordsworth’s writing responds to what it calls bureaucratic form: the form taken by writing when the efficient capturing and communicating of data, or “particulars,” are principal considerations. Operating in concert with the contemporaneous virtue of brevity in writing and long-standing concerns about brevitas in literature, bureaucratic form made the economical collection and delivery of information an ideal for all kinds of writing. This chapter shows that Lyrical Ballads (1798), Essays upon Epitaphs (comp. 1810), and above all, The Excursion (1814) accommodate, as much as they ignore, the rule of streamlined writing.

Keywords:   William Wordsworth, bureaucracy, bureaucratic form, taxation, data, information, administration, paperwork, brevity, utilitarianism

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.