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In her book The Regenerate Lyric, Elisa New presents a major revision of the accepted historical account of Emerson as the source of the American poetic tradition. New challenges the majority opinion that Emerson not only overthrew New England religious orthodoxy but founded a poetic tradition that fundamentally renounced that orthodoxy in favor of a secular, Romantic approach. She contends that Emerson's reinvention of the religion as a species of poetry is tested and found wanting by the very poetic innovators whom Emerson addressed and that a counter-tradition is evident in his major heirsWhitman, Dickinson, Crane, Stevens, Frost, and Lowell. Indeed, Emerson's own poetry failed in many ways to live up to his views and instead revealed an inherent paradox: that coopting of religion by a poetic theory alienates religion from its life principletheologyand disables the poem as well.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Series:||Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series , #64|
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.98(d)|
About the Author
Elisa New is professor of English and American literature and language at Harvard University. She is the author of The Line’s Eye and The Regenerate Lyric. She lives with her husband, economist Larry Summers, in Brookline, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part I: 1. An original relation: Taylor and Emerson; 2. Poetics and the poem: Emerson; 3. The savage source: Emerson and Stevens; Part II: 4. Crossing Leviticus: Whitman; 5. Beyond circumference: Dickinson; 6. Hand of fire: Crane; Epilogue. The regenerate lyric: Lowell and Frost.