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The Revolutionary 'I': Wordsworth and the Politics of Self-Presentation

The Revolutionary 'I': Wordsworth and the Politics of Self-Presentation (Hardback)

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Synopsis

In the winter of 1798-99, shut up in the freezing German town of Goslar, William Wordsworth began producing lyrical fragments that appeared first in letters written to Coleridge and emerged eventually as source texts for The Prelude. These lyrics are revolutionary because they construct a new version of the autobiographical 'I'. The Wordsworthian first person, which becomes the prototype for so much subsequent writing about the self, emerges out of an interplay among complementary and conflicting questions: How could a struggling 28-year-old author write a 'great' poem? How might he satisfy the expectations of his imagined, as well as actual, readers? How should he fashion his own life into and out of poetry? The constant writing and rewriting of a poem with many titles over many decades was a textual act designed, at least in part, to answer such questions. The Revolutionary 'I' explores the numerous voices of the poetic speaker 'Wordsworth' and their relationship to the historical figure who shared the same name, offering the first sustained analysis of the complex autobiographical voice in Wordsworth's poetry.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: c 1800 to c 1900Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: poetry & poets Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Publication Date: 08/07/1998 ISBN-13: 9780333718896  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Printed to order. Despatched in 2-3 weeks.  

Ashton Nichols is Associate Professor of English at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

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