For someone who claims imagination is the poet's highest faculty, he uses very little imagination in his own writing. I'm definitely not a fan. Apr 23, wally rated it liked it Shelves: coleridge. Dec 15, James rated it liked it Shelves: lit-criticism , memoir , philosophy.
Biographia Literaria - Wikipedia
A sort of intellectual autobiography, the Biographia contains reflections on wide range of philosophical and literary issues. The work is long and seemingly loosely structured, and although there are autobiographical elements, it is not a straightforward or linear autobiography. Instead, it is meditative, with numerous essays on philosophy. In particular, it discusses and engages the philosophy of Immanuel Kant Samuel Taylor Coleridge completed his Biographia Literaria on September 15th in Being fluent in German, Coleridge was one of the first major English literary figures to translate and discuss Schelling, in particular.
In some form of irony, I feel that I lack understanding like, perhaps even more so than, the Coleridge who anonymously writes to himself within this text. This book has opened my eyes and ears to poetry and I am left feeling gratefully more knowledgeable of my ignorance than before. My ignorance is not limited to poetry but also to the classics and contemporaries discussed in this book.
Without the editor's footnotes this volume would have been nearly indecipherable to me. Although no review is wi In some form of irony, I feel that I lack understanding like, perhaps even more so than, the Coleridge who anonymously writes to himself within this text. Although no review is without the context of the reader, more needs to be said of the book.
This is an exceptionally interesting treatise on the writing of poems and the poems of and up to that time.
Particular attention is paid to the works of William Wordsworth, an acquaintance of Coleridge. Much of the discussion and critique of poems, poetry and philosophy was beyond my current knowledge, however, the clarity of language as one would expect from Coleridge after reading this book even allows novices to follow much of what is said, if only from a distance.
Please note that this is far from being a collection of poems.
It is a discourse on poetry and philosophy in the context of literary theory. A fascinating experience nonetheless. An important book, but not an easy read, particularly the first half, before Coleridge sets into his thesis about what constitutes poetry an argument with the preface to Lyrical Ballads, which he persuaded Wordsworth to write , and then critiques poets of his time and of antiquity including Wordsworth and Shakespeare.
Grab a highlighter, but don't expect his prose to be as good as his poetry -- it isn't. Jul 24, Jessica rated it liked it Shelves: academic , classic-literature , nonfiction , essays. Coleridge's outstanding theoretical inquiry, while occasionally hard to muddle through, remains a brilliant statement of both Romantic sensibility and timeless observations of literature - as well as a real smack-down for William Wordsworth.
This is where Coleridge comes into his own, even more so than his literary works. Dec 10, Meredyth rated it liked it Shelves: literary-criticism.
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This is a really important milestone in Liteary history, as it was the first real literary critique. The personal frendship and rivalry between Wordsworth and Coleridge invite the reader to speculate on some of Coleridge's observations and motives; however his insights are well argued and the publication of this work ushed in what we understand today to be Literary Theory.
Jun 25, Chris rated it really liked it Recommends it for: only scholarly romantiphiles. Dec 15, Megan rated it really liked it. Dense dopey as a laudanum dream, but when a kindly old Coleridge scholar in his last year before retirement forces you to read it through, and then again once more, infinitely rewarding. Elisabeth G.
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Readers also enjoyed. About Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, critic, and philosopher who was, along with his friend William Wordsworth, one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets.
Books by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Trivia About Biographia Litera No trivia or quizzes yet. Quotes from Biographia Litera Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Nevertheless, had I had no other motive or incitement, the reader would not have been troubled with this exculpation. What my additional purposes were, will be seen in the following pages.
It will be found, that the least of what I have written concerns myself personally.
I have used the narration chiefly for the purpose of giving a continuity to the work, in part for the sake of the miscellaneous reflections suggested to me by particular events, but still more as introductory to a statement of my principles in Politics, Religion, and Philosophy, and an application of the rules, deduced from philosophical principles, to poetry and criticism. But of the objects, which I proposed to myself, it was not the least important to effect, as far as possible, a settlement of the long continued controversy concerning the true nature of poetic diction; and at the same time to define with the utmost impartiality the real poetic character of the poet, by whose writings this controversy was first kindled, and has been since fuelled and fanned.
In the spring of , when I had but little passed the verge of manhood, I published a small volume of juvenile poems. They were received with a degree of favour, which, young as I was, I well know was bestowed on them not so much for any positive merit, as because they were considered buds of hope, and promises of better works to come.
The critics of that day, the most flattering, equally with the severest, concurred in objecting to them obscurity, a general turgidness of diction, and a profusion of new coined double epithets. The first is the fault which a writer is the least able to detect in his own compositions: and my mind was not then sufficiently disciplined to receive the authority of others, as a substitute for my own conviction. Satisfied that the thoughts, such as they were, could not have been expressed otherwise, or at least more perspicuously, I forgot to inquire, whether the thoughts themselves did not demand a degree of attention unsuitable to the nature and objects of poetry.
This remark however applies chiefly, though not exclusively, to the Religious Musings.
The remainder of the charge I admitted to its full extent, and not without sincere acknowledgments both to my private and public censors for their friendly admonitions. In the after editions, I pruned the double epithets with no sparing hand, and used my best efforts to tame the swell and glitter both of thought and diction; though in truth, these parasite plants of youthful poetry had insinuated themselves into my longer poems with such intricacy of union, that I was often obliged to omit disentangling the weed, from the fear of snapping the flower.
From that period to the date of the present work I have published nothing, with my name, which could by any possibility have come before the board of anonymous criticism. Even the three or four poems, printed with the works of a friend , as far as they were censured at all, were charged with the same or similar defects, though I am persuaded not with equal justice ,—with an excess of ornament, in addition to strained and elaborate diction.
I must be permitted to add, that, even at the early period of my juvenile poems, I saw and admitted the superiority of an austerer and more natural style, with an insight not less clear, than I at present possess.