Coleridge, Language and the Sublime: From Transcendence to by Christopher Stokes

By Christopher Stokes

Traversing the topics of language, terror and illustration, this is often the 1st research to interact Coleridge throughout the chic, displaying him to have a compelling place in an ongoing dialog approximately finitude. Drawing on shut readings of either his poetry and prose, it depicts Coleridge as a philosopher of "the restrict" with modern strength.

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Additional info for Coleridge, Language and the Sublime: From Transcendence to Finitude

Sample text

Although the effusive genre valorises sincerity and the ‘real passion’ of the poet above all, we shall see that the problem of artifice and dissimulation is always close to the surface. This can be seen with particular clarity in two of Coleridge’s effusions in the 1796 collection: ‘Effusion XXIV’ and ‘Effusion XXXVI’. ‘The living image of my dream’: ‘Effusion XXIV’ and Romance The first of the two poems that I wish to examine, the lightly comic ‘Effusion XXIV: In the Manner of Spenser’, was written to excuse Coleridge from missing a romantic liaison.

Express momentary bursts of feeling in it! I should sooner expect to write pathetic Axes or pour forth Extempore Eggs and Altars! But the best confutation of such idle rules is to be found in the Sonnets of those who have observed them, in their inverted sentences, their quaint phrases and incongruous mixture of obsolete and spenserian words: and when at last, the thing is toiled and hammered into fit shape, it is in general racked and tortured Prose rather than anything thing resembling Poetry.

We find this in his political verse of the 1790s, and many of the same problems recur. When Coleridge began to doubt some of his former political convictions, he also began to realise that his speaking position had not automatically produced truth, despite being grounded in passions that seemed to be evidence of their own sincerity. A certain theatricality – a certain subtle performativity of self linked closely to the concept of enthusiasm – seemed to undermine him. This produced a crisis in his poetic authority, which we can trace in the 1798 quarto, Fears in Solitude.

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