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It is a creative function and thereby repeats the divine act of creation. The secondary imagination enables individuals to transcend the primary imagination — not merely to perceive connections but to make them. It is the creative impulse that enables poetry and other art. Poet Daljit Nagra explains how Coleridge uses language, form and imagery to create the heady exoticism of Kubla Khan.

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Dr Seamus Perry considers the composition and publication history of Kubla Khan , and explores how Coleridge transforms language into both image and music. Dr Seamus Perry describes the origins of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and considers how Coleridge uses the poem to explore ideas of sin, suffering and salvation.


This collaborative collection by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge was Biographia Literaria was the most important work of literary criticism of the English Romantic period, combining philosophy and literary criticism in a new way, and it was lastingly influential. You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

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Biographia literaria

Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. It's not as engaging to me as Ezra Pound's literary musings but in much the same vein. I just recently read Wordsworth's Preface to the Lyrical Ballads and intend to follow up by reading Coleridge's thoughts on the matter here. Shelves: gre-prep , poetry.

Biographia Literaria, Vol 1 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A mind-numbingly dull and utterly pretentious attack on the poetic principles espoused by my new hero, William Wordsworth. 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.

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.

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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.

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  • 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. 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.

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