Romantic egotism: Reception of Wordsworth’s early poetry, sensibility, and the trope of poetic "revolution"

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Abstract

This is a study of the reception of Wordsworth's poetry, particularly the Lyrical Ballads (in collaboration with Coleridge) and Poems (1807), with reference to eighteenth century traditions of sensibility. Examining how it was received by its contemporary readers, this paper argues that the Lyrical Ballads represents no sudden, drastic Romantic ”revolution.” Tracing the reception of Wordsworth's Poems (1807) with respect to the politics of taste, this paper details the formation of Wordsworth's ”egotism” and discusses how ”egotism” and ”apostasy” are later transformed into a poetic ”revolution” by some twentieth century Romanticists who developed William Hazlitt's problematic account of the ”Lake School” in a new, ”visionary” direction. Highlighting the curious fate of reception, this paper tries to show that some basic assumptions underlying the ”standard” picture of Romanticism need to be reconsidered in a historical light.
本文重點在研究英國詩人華滋華斯的《抒情民謠》(1798,與柯立芝合撰)和《詩集》(1807年版)的接受史,援引較少爲論家關注的十八世紀感性傳統,以闡釋當時的讀者如何理解上述作品。近四十年以來的浪漫主義權威,大都視《抒情民謠》爲標誌著反抗傳統的浪漫主義詩學「革命」的里程碑,本研究則指出此說謬誤之處。現今教科書和文學術語辭典,由於深受阿伯倫斯(M. H. Abrams)等權威的影響,往往過份強調浪漫詩人內省、超逸的一面,本文卻透過對《詩集》接受史的考察,尤著眼於當中「品味政治」的糾葛,來揭示華滋華斯和所謂「湖畔詩人」被視爲獨斷獨行、妄自尊大的公眾形象,如何在十九世紀初特殊的景況中衍生。最後本文將討論二十世紀一些主要論家,如何將這種本具貶義的浪漫「獨斷主義」(egotism)扭轉,成爲了唯心的、「靈視的」(visionary)詩「革命」;一邊誇大浪漫主義的顛覆性,一邊又迴避了華滋華斯等詩人後來背叛激進思潮的事實。本文的用意,是發掘浪漫主義作品在前代的不同讀法,以質疑當今浪漫主義的「標準」圖像是否適切。 Copyright © 2000 東華大學人文社會科學學院.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-257
JournalDong Hwa Journal of Humanistic Studies
Volume2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000

Citation

Yu, E. K. W. (2000). Romantic egotism: Reception of Wordsworth’s early poetry, sensibility, and the trope of poetic "revolution". Dong Hwa Journal of Humanistic Studies, 2, 229-257.

Keywords

  • Romanticism
  • Wordsworth
  • Egotism
  • Reception
  • Sensibility
  • The trope of "revolution"
  • 浪漫主義
  • 華滋華斯
  • 「獨斷主義」
  • 接受
  • 感性
  • 「革命」之喻
  • Alt. title: 浪漫“獨斷主義”:華滋華斯早期詩作的接受情況、十八世紀感性傳統、詩“革命”之喻

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