The Poetics of Sensibility: A Revolution in Literary Style

The Poetics of Sensibility: A Revolution in Literary Style

by Jerome J. McGann
     
 

Jerome McGann's exciting new work represents a major intervention in Eighteenth-century and Romantic studies. It takes as its prime aim the reading of neglected poetry, principally by women, which qualifies as either poetry of 'sensibility' or poetry of 'sentiment', terms which comprised the revolution in poetic style of the eighteenth century. Later reactions against… See more details below

Overview

Jerome McGann's exciting new work represents a major intervention in Eighteenth-century and Romantic studies. It takes as its prime aim the reading of neglected poetry, principally by women, which qualifies as either poetry of 'sensibility' or poetry of 'sentiment', terms which comprised the revolution in poetic style of the eighteenth century. Later reactions against these new technical and imaginative resources produced a state of cultural amnesia which The Poetics of Sensibility moves to correct. McGann's polemical study is an ambitious effort to begin reconstructing the order of our cultural inheritance. Its aesthetic focus sets it apart from virtually every other work of this kind. The book represents both of the major poetical movements of the past two centuries - romanticism and modernism - as cultural reactions against the procedures of sensibility and sentimentality. Romanticism is seen as an effort to curb or modify what were taken to be the more dangerous tendencies of the sentimental revolution. Modernism's anathema against sentimental styles, on the other hand, framed its argument on behalf of a set of (broadly classical and formalist) literary conventions. The Poetics of Sensibility examines the attitudes and procedures followed by various poets who were developing other, novel resources of poetical language made possible by the Lockean revolution. The range of discussion is extensive, but special emphasis is placed on the formative period of c.1730-1830.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198184782
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
10/15/1998
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
1280L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Introduction1
Pt. IRoads of Excess11
1A Disordering of the Senses13
2Coleridge's 'Eolian Harp' and the Motion of Thought19
3Thomas Gray's 'Thoughts, that breathe, and words, that burn'24
4Ossian as a Poetry of Knowledge33
Pt. II'Sensate Hearts': The Poetry of Sensibility41
5Learning by Doing: The Example of 'The Amorous Lady'43
6Frances Greville's 'A Prayer for Indifference'50
7Ann Yearsley's 'Remonstrance in the Platonic Shade, Flourishing on an Height'55
8Motherhood and the Self Unknown65
9The Literal World of the English Della Cruscans74
10Mary Robinson and the Myth of Sappho94
Pt. IIIThe 'Feeling Mind' of Sentimental Poetry117
11Sentimental Grounds: Schiller, Wordsworth, Bernardin, Shelley, Keats119
12Enlightened Minds: Sir William Jones and Erasmus Darwin127
13Sentimentalism as Consumption and Exchange136
14Waking from Adam's Dream: L.E.L.'s Art of Disillusion143
15The Loss of Sentimental Poetry150
16Literary History, Romanticism, and Felicia Hemans: A Conversation between A. Mack, J. J. Rome, and G. Mannejc174
Conclusion: Starting from Death: The Poetry of Ann Batten Cristall195
Bibliography207
Index215

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