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Comparative Readings of Poems Portraying Symbolic Images of Creative Genius: Sophia De Mello Breyner Andresen, Teixeira De Pascoaes, Rainer Maria Rilke, John Donne, John of the Cross, Edward Young, Lao Tzu, William Wordsworth, Walt Whitman
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Comparative Readings of Poems Portraying Symbolic Images of Creative Genius: Sophia De Mello Breyner Andresen, Teixeira De Pascoaes, Rainer Maria Rilke, John Donne, John of the Cross, Edward Young, Lao Tzu, William Wordsworth, Walt Whitman (Hardback)

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Synopsis

This cluster of comparative essays opens up new critical and cultural vistas, as much for the English-speaking reader as the Portuguese scholar. Dr. Ceia's foreword sets out with absolute clarity the objectives and scope of his study in which he will examine the way that poetic imagination is treated by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, arguably Portugal's greatest living poet, as well as by other major writers of the Western and Eastern traditions. This cluster of comparative essays opens up new critical and cultural vistas, as much for the English-speaking reader as the Portuguese scholar. The author's foreword sets out with absolute clarity the objectives and scope of his study, in which he will examine the way that poetic imagination is treated by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, arguably Portugal's greatest living poet, as well as by other major writers of the Western and Eastern traditions.

In chapter one, basing himself on the theories of Freud and Jung, and taking his examples from a wide-ranging if not eclectic selection of writers (Ted Hughes, Robert Graves and Seamus Heaney among others), Dr Ceia breaks new ground in his quest to explore the ways in which his subjects have treated the poetic imaginary. At the same time he is at some pains to provide the reader with cogent and convincing definitions of literary imagination. The second chapter focuses on the figure of the angel as it appears in the verse of Sophia, Rainer Maria Rilke and John Donne. Chapter three contemplates night visions, as experienced and interpreted by Sophia, her fellow-countryman Teixeira de Pascoaes, the Spanish mystic John of the Cross and Edward Young, maximum exponent of the English "graveyard school". Chapter four considers the labyrinth and path motifs as followed by Sophia, Lao Tzu and Wordsworth, while the fifth and final chapter, looking to the theoretical works of Eliade and other authoritative sources, deals with the eternal return as dreamed of or longed for by Sophia and Whitman.

The conclusion is commendably succinct, distilling the essence of what has been stated or suggested before. Dr Ceia handles sophisticated theoretical concepts with aplomb, successfully avoiding jargon. His translations from the Portuguese are honest and transparent. The book reads extremely well, and might in many respects serve as a model to be adopted by scholars of comparative literature in Portugal and the English-speaking world, demonstrating the undoubted utility of such an undertaking. The study reveals a quite remarkable knowledge of Graeco-Roman mythology, Eastern religions and philosophy and psycho-analytical theory. Dr Ceia is well versed in current (and traditional) trends in literary criticism, and in the enviable position of being able to draw upon an astonishingly broad reading experience on the one hand, and his profound familiarity with the works of Sophia and his other selected poets on the other. Sharing with us his personal canon of great poets, his readings are well-founded, thoughtful and sensitive, achieving unexpected new insights and interpretations, not least because of the original choice of pairings and points of comparison.

This study will be of immense value to not only to scholars of contemporary Portuguese literature, but to those with a general interest in poets and the poetic imagination.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: poetry & poets Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd Publication Date: 01/09/2002 ISBN-13: 9780773470088  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

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