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A Taste for ChinaEnglish Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism$
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Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199950980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199950980.001.0001

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“Nature to Advantage Drest”The Poetry of Subjectivity

“Nature to Advantage Drest”The Poetry of Subjectivity

(p.122) 4 “Nature to Advantage Drest”The Poetry of Subjectivity
A Taste for China

Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins

Oxford University Press

The dressing-room poems of Pope and Swift put English women and Chinese things in mutually defining relationships to one another, introducing a model of subjectivity founded on the accumulation of and aesthetic arrangement of material objects as part of the self. While Pope’s verse constructs a female subject defined by her symbiotic relationship to Chinese things, Swift’s dismantles this subject, and along with it the reigning paradigm of aesthetic self-management.

Keywords:   Pope, The Rape of the Lock, Swift, Scatological poems, Poetry, Dressing-room, Cosmetics, Domestic arts, Chinoiserie

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