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Material TransgressionsBeyond Romantic Bodies, Genders, Things$
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Kate Singer, Ashley Cross, and Suzanne Barnett

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621778

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621778.001.0001

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Dancing with Ghosts in ‘Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil’

Dancing with Ghosts in ‘Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil’

(p.191) Chapter Eight Dancing with Ghosts in ‘Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil’
Material Transgressions

Sonia Hofkosh

Liverpool University Press

This essay reads the intimacy between persons and things dramatized in Keats’s poem as a haunting that at once enacts and acts against normative states of being or orders of experience. Drawing on Hazlitt’s invocation of the past as “alive and stirring with objects” in conjunction with the political resonance of the ghost dance Gayatri Spivak summons in her response to Derrida’s Spectres of Marx, this reading aims to depathologize Isabella’s intense attachment to the pot of basil by reflecting on the potential for resistance or transformation within the practices of everyday life, including within the repetitions and returns that constitute our own everyday practices as readers of Keats’s poem.

Keywords:   Ghost dance, Everyday life, Intimacy, Intertwining, John Keats, “Isabella; or the Pot of Basil”

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