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Coleridge and the Philosophy of Poetic Form

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Romanticism

  • Date Published: July 2014
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781316057100

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About the Authors
  • Ewan James Jones argues that Coleridge engaged most significantly with philosophy not through systematic argument, but in verse. Jones carries this argument through a series of sustained close readings, both of canonical texts such as Christabel and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and also of less familiar verse, such as Limbo. Such work shows that the essential elements of poetic expression - a poem's metre, rhythm, rhyme and other such formal features - enabled Coleridge to think in an original and distinctive manner, which his systematic philosophy impeded. Attentiveness to such formal features, which has for some time been overlooked in Coleridge scholarship, permits a rethinking of the relationship between eighteenth-century verse and philosophy more broadly, as it engages with issues including affect, materiality and self-identity. Coleridge's poetic thinking, Jones argues, both consolidates and radicalises the current literary critical rediscovery of form.

    • Offers a revisionary account of Coleridge's poetry to challenge long-standing interpretations
    • Offers new close readings of major poems, such as Christabel and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in a philosophical context
    • Contributes to the present critical rediscovery of prosody, metre and rhythm
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… demonstrate[s] the sheer range of Coleridge's reach - Jones concentrates on his investment in the history of philosophy … and improve[s] our understanding of just how subtle and essential Coleridge's interdisciplinarity is for anyone who wishes to engage thoroughly with his thought.' Philip Aherne, The BARS Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2014
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781316057100
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Coleridge's philosophy of poetic form
    1. 'Less gross than bodily': interruption in the conversation poem sequence
    2. 'Some transition, in the nature of the imagery or passion': rhythm and affect in Christabel
    3. 'Earth worm wit lies under ground': Limbo and the philosophy of the pun
    4. The scandal of tautology: The Rime and the tautegorical symbol
    Coda: the philosophy of poetic form

  • Author

    Ewan James Jones, University of Cambridge
    Ewan James Jones is Thole Research Fellow at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge.

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