by VINAYAK KRISHNA GOKAK
Coleridge's transcendentalism has been a stumbling block in the way of his admirers as well as student of his poetry and criticism. Readers are in love with his subtle-souled psychology in poetry and delicate imagery. They also admire his brilliant and perceptive criticism seen in his remakes on the genius of Shakespeare or the poetry diction of Wordsworth. But the philosophical and psychological assumptions that underline his criticism, especially with readers. Several efforts have been made to elucidate them but without much success.
Professor Gokak, a well-known poet and perceptive critic and a celebrated professor of English language and literature, has in these pages, brought to bear on Coleridge's aesthetics, not only his poetic sensibility and critical acumen and cultural background and his study of Indian aesthetics. The result is that he is able to present a fascinating exposition of Coleridge's aesthetic principles : What seemed to be utter confusion mixed up with opium dreams. is now seen to be a profound psychological account of the genesis and evolution of poetry. Professor Gokak has succeeded in lighting up most of the obscure corners in Coleridge's theory.
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About the Author
A well-known scholar and educationist, he has also been Principal of Colleges in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka States, Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University and Director of the Central Institute of Advanced Study, Simla. A Professor of English Language and literature in major colleges with postgraduate status under Bombay, Poona and Karnataka Universities and in Osmania University, he was Professor of Literary Interpretation in the Central Institute of English. He was also a member of the University Grants Commission. He presided over the All India English Teachers' Conference in Delhi in 1960 and he was vice-president of the Commonwealth Conference on the teaching of English in Uganda in 1961.
He is the recipient of the degree of D.Litt. Honoris Causa from Karnataka University in 1967 and the University of the Pacific, California, U.S.A in 1970.