The Romantic Fragment Poem: A Critique of a Form by Marjorie Levinson

By Marjorie Levinson

A vintage study.

The fragment poem, lengthy considered as a notably Romantic phenomenon, hasn't ever been tested open air the context of thematic and biographical feedback. through filing the incomplete poems of the English Romantics to either a genetic research and a reception research, Marjorie Levinson defines the fragment's formal personality at numerous moments in its old occupation. She means that the formal determinancy of those works, for that reason their expressive or semantic affinities, is a functionality of old stipulations and projections.

The English Romantic fragment poems proportion now not lots a selected mode of creation as a fable of creation. Levinson pries aside those dimensions and analyzes every one independently to think about their dating. by way of reconstructing the modern reception of such works as Wordsworth's "Nutting," Coleridge's "Christabel" and "Kubla Khan," Shelley's "Julian and Maddalo," and Keats's Hyperion fragments, and juxtaposing this version opposed to dominant twentieth-century serious paradigms, Levinson discriminates layers, stages, and types of intentionality within the poems and considers the ideological implications of this diversity.

This examine is the 1st to enquire the English Romantic fragment poem by way of picking the assumptions -- modern and belated -- that govern interpretative strategies. In a considerable precis bankruptcy, Levinson displays upon the which means and results of those assumptions with admire to the evidence and fictions of literary creation within the interval and to the methods of canon formation.

Originally released in 1986.

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Example text

It was best like this. blue cheese and chili peppers these women are supposed to come and see me but they never do. there’s the one with the long scar along her belly. ” there’s the one who dances with a boa constrictor and writes every four weeks, she’ll come, she says. and the 4th who claims she sleeps always with my latest book under her pillow. I whack-off in the heat and listen to Brahms and eat blue cheese with chili peppers. these are women of good mind and body, excellent in or out of bed, dangerous and deadly, of course— but why do they all have to live up north?

And then she slammed the car door. it was still 103 degrees. when I opened my mail I found my auto insurance company wanted $76 more. suddenly she ran into the room and screamed, “LOOK, I’M TURNING RED! ALL BLOTCHY! ” “take a bath,” I told her. I dialed the insurance company long distance and demanded to know why. ” I covered the phone and screamed at her in the bathtub: “LOOK! I’M ON LONG DISTANCE! ” the insurance people still maintained that I owed them $76 and would send me a letter explaining why.

Somebody else will have them and I will walk about in my floppy shorts smoking too many cigarettes and trying to make drama out of no damned progress at all. ” I told her she was crazy the cops would get us but she said, “no, it’s nice and foggy,” so we went to the park spread out the equipment and began working and here came headlights— a squad car— she said, “hurry, get your pants on! ” I said, “I can’t. ” one of the cops looked at me and said, “I don’t blame you,” and after some small talk they left us alone.

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