Majestic Indolence: English Romantic Poetry and the Work of Art

Hardcover | June 1, 1995

byWillard Spiegelman

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Spiegelman examines the theme of indolence-- both positive and negative--as it appears in the canonical work of four Romantic poets. He argues for a renewal of interest in literary formalism, aesthetics, and the pastoral genre. Wordsworth's "wise passiveness," Coleridge's "dejection" andtorpor, Shelley's pastoral dolce far niente, and Keats's "delicious...indolence" are seen as individual manifestations of a common theme. Spiegelman argues that the trope of indolence originated in the religious, philosophical, psychological, and economic discourses from the middle ages to the late eighteenth century. In particular, the years surrounding the French revolution are marked by the rich variety of experiments conducted bythese poets on this topic. Countering recent politically/ideologically motivated literary theory, Spiegelman looks, instead, at how the poems work. He argues for aesthetic appreciation and critique, which, he feels, the Romantic pastoral begs for in its celebration of nature and the sublime. Thebook concludes with Spiegelman following the Romantic legacy and its transformation into America (in the form of Whitman), and, further, into the twentieth century (in Frost's poems).

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From the Publisher

Spiegelman examines the theme of indolence-- both positive and negative--as it appears in the canonical work of four Romantic poets. He argues for a renewal of interest in literary formalism, aesthetics, and the pastoral genre. Wordsworth's "wise passiveness," Coleridge's "dejection" andtorpor, Shelley's pastoral dolce far niente, and ...

From the Jacket

Majestic Indolence examines the theme of indolence - in both its positive and negative forms - as it appears in the work of four canonical Romantic poets. Wordsworth's "wise passiveness", Coleridge's "dejection" and numbing torpor, Shelley's experiments with pastoral dolce far niente, and Keats's figures of "delicious diligent indolenc...

Willard Spiegelman is at Southern Methodist University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.57 × 6.5 × 0.79 inPublished:June 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195093569

ISBN - 13:9780195093568

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"All is performed with exemplary care. The opening historical survey is well researched; the notes scrupulously pinpoint affiliations and respectfully articulate disagreements with other critics; the writing is clear and expeditious...the many details struck me as fresh and accurate.Spiegelman is a fine and sober stylistician, if not a hugely imaginative one. I came away from it greatly admiring his steady, conscientious professionalism"--Modern Philology