[Chapter 3, note 20, of the author's Carlyle and the Search for Authority, which the Ohio State University Press published in 1991. It appears in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright. not in print version indicates a link to material not in the original print version. GPL]

It is worth emphasizing in the context of the preceding discussion that, while Carlyle employs something like Romantic irony in Sartor Resartus, he does not intend to destablize meaning completely. In this respect, I concur with those critics who insist that Carlyle intends his irony to be limited by his insistence on an ultimate ground of meaning (e.g., Fleishman 128; McGowan, 6o-69). A number of recent studies have treated Carlyle as a Romantic ironist (see Dale, "Sartor Resartus," 293-312; Haney, 307-33; Jay, 92-108; Mellor, chap. 4; and Morris, 201-12).


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