monique allewaert University of Wisconsin-Madison Insect Poetics James Grainger, Personification, and Enlightenments Not Taken Since the recuperation to the canon of Scottish-born poet and physician James Grainger's work, scholars have concentrated on book 4 of his West Indian neogeorgic The Sugar-Cane (1764) as the portion of his oeuvre with the most contemporary relevance. Here Grainger finally turns from discussions of what seem entirely prosaic topics like the care of West Indian soil (book 1), threats to the cane crop (book 2), and the conversion of raw material to commodities (book 3) to take up a problem that if it strikes readers as equally unpoetic is at least of interest to twenty-firstcentury audiences. Here in book 4 the poem focuses on the African-born slave population that cultivated the sugar crop, a topic relevant to scholars working to track the lives of those subjected within an emerging modernity. While twenty-first-century readers have turned critical attention to the poem's fourth book, Grainger and a number of his eighteenth-century readers took more interest in its second. Writing from St. Christopher (St. Kitts) to correspondents in the high-culture London literary coterie in which he formerly circulated, Grainger repeatedly suggested that this second book
Early American Literature – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jun 16, 2017
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