Becoming Wordsworthian

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This innovative book explores the hypothesis that "Wordsworth the Poet" is an imaginative projection in which both William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy collaborated, developing a persona that the siblings strove to inhabit. Because William was its principal enactor, both publicly and privately, poetically and experientially, his tendency was to sublimate Dorothy into an audible but invisible muse, located just behind him. Dorothy, however, always imagined herself in a collaborative or twinned relation to ...
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Overview

This innovative book explores the hypothesis that "Wordsworth the Poet" is an imaginative projection in which both William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy collaborated, developing a persona that the siblings strove to inhabit. Because William was its principal enactor, both publicly and privately, poetically and experientially, his tendency was to sublimate Dorothy into an audible but invisible muse, located just behind him. Dorothy, however, always imagined herself in a collaborative or twinned relation to William, even when he was absent. She experienced the Wordsworthian role as increasingly alienating, more an aesthetic performance to be enacted at will, whereas William found the role ever more natural and inseparable from himself. This book explores the ways in which the Wordsworths were particularly suited to develop their collaborative persona, the literary fictions they drew on, and the value they derived from such a concerted and utopian effort. The author bases her work on well-known Wordsworthian texts, as well as little-read lyrics and essays of William and the comparatively unknown oeuvre of Dorothy.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Fay (English, U. of Massachusetts-Boston) explores the hypothesis that "Wordsworth the Poet" is an imaginative projection on which William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy collaborated, discussing the ways in which the siblings were suited to develop their collaborative persona, the literary fictions they drew on, and the value they derived from their utopian effort. Includes excerpts from the little-known work of Dorothy Wordsworth. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870239601
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/1995
  • Pages: 288
  • Lexile: 1450L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 The Wordsworthian Performative 13
Ch. 2 The Charted Valley 59
Ch. 3 Authoring Selves, Traversing Ground 109
Ch. 4 Mountains and Abysses 155
Ch. 5 The Poetics of Negotiating Charts 201
Notes 241
Bibliography 265
Index 275
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