Biographia Literaria: Or, Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions

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Leavitt, Lord and Company, 1834 - 351 Seiten
Despite the friendship and collaborations between Samuel Coleridge?and William Wordsworth, the pair were not completely compatible in their respective?literary visions. In his Biographia Literaria, Coleridge attempts to do?what Wordsworth did in Preface to the Lyrical Ballads: offer his perspective?on the value and nature of poetry. Throughout the piece, Coleridge draws?important distinctions between his poetic ideals and Wordsworth?s. One key?facet of Coleridge?s philosophy is his insistence on the necessity of?imagination which is more complex than many reader?s contemporary notions of?the imagination. Additionally, Coleridge establishes his view that good poetry?does not necessarily have to be written in "the language of men," as Wordsworth?suggested. For Coleridge, poetry should use diction that is lofty and more?beautiful than ordinary speech. Since its publication in 1817,?Biographia Literaria has become an?essential document in the study of English Romanticism.?
 

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Seite 170 - The primary IMAGINATION I hold to be the living Power and prime Agent of all human Perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.
Seite 177 - The poet, described in ideal perfection, brings th^. whole soul of man into activity, with the subordination of its faculties to each other, according to their relative worth and dignity. He diffuses a tone and spirit of unity, that blends, and, (as it were,) fuses, each into each, by that synthetic and magical power, to which we have exclusively appropriated the name of imagination.
Seite 25 - Was it the proud full sail of his great verse, Bound for the prize of all too precious you, That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse, Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew? Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
Seite 171 - Fancy, on the contrary, has no other counters to play with but fixities and definites. The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of time and space, while it is blended with, and modified by, that empirical phenomenon of the will which we express by the word choice. But equally with the ordinary memory the fancy must receive all its materials ready made from the law of association.
Seite 274 - But for those first affections, Those shadowy recollections, Which, be they what they may, Are yet the fountain light of all our day, Are yet a master light of all our seeing; Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make Our noisy years seem moments in the being Of the eternal silence: truths that wake, To perish never...
Seite 182 - Anon permit the basest clouds to ride With ugly rack on his celestial face, And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace...
Seite 10 - ... bring up, so as to escape his censure. I learned from him that poetry, even that of the loftiest and, seemingly, that of the wildest odes, had a logic of its own, as severe as that of science ; and more difficult, because more subtle, more complex, and dependent on more, and more fugitive, causes. In the truly great poets, he would say, there is a reason assignable, not only for every word, but for the position of every word...
Seite 273 - Heaven lies about us in our infancy ! Shades of the prison-house begin to close Upon the growing boy ; But he beholds the light, and whence it flows ; He sees it in his joy ! The youth who daily further from the east Must travel, still is nature's priest, And by the vision splendid Is on his way attended ; At length the man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day.
Seite 267 - The blackbird amid leafy trees, The lark above the hill, Let loose their carols when they please, Are quiet when they will. With Nature never do they wage A foolish strife ; they see A happy youth, and their old age Is beautiful and free : But we are pressed by heavy laws ; And often, glad no more, We wear a face of joy, because We have been glad of yore.
Seite 244 - He looked — Ocean and earth, the solid frame of earth And ocean's liquid mass, beneath him lay In gladness and deep joy. The clouds were touched, And in their silent faces did he read Unutterable love.

Über den Autor (1834)

Born in Ottery St. Mary, England, in 1772, Samuel Taylor Coleridge studied revolutionary ideas at Cambridge before leaving to enlist in the Dragoons. After his plans to start a communist society in the United States with his friend Robert Southey, later named poet laureate of England, were botched, Coleridge instead turned his attention to teaching and journalism in Bristol. Coleridge married Southey's sister-in-law Sara Fricker, and they moved to Nether Stowey, where they became close friends with William and Dorothy Wordsworth. From this friendship a new poetry emerged, one that focused on Neoclassic artificiality. In later years, their relationship became strained, partly due to Coleridge's moral collapse brought on by opium use, but more importantly because of his rejection of Wordworth's animistic views of nature. In 1809, Coleridge began a weekly paper, The Friend, and settled in London, writing and lecturing. In 1816, he published Kubla Kahn. Coleridge reported that he composed this brief fragment, considered by many to be one of the best poems ever written lyrically and metrically, while under the influence of opium, and that he mentally lost the remainder of the poem when he roused himself to answer an ill-timed knock at his door. Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel, and his sonnet Ozymandias are all respected as inventive and widely influential Romantic pieces. Coleridge's prose works, especially Biographia Literaria, were also broadly read in his day. Coleridge died in 1834.

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