Revision and Romantic Authorship

Paperback | June 3, 1999

byZachary Leader

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The Romantic author as spontaneous, extemporizing, otherworldly, and autonomous is a fiction much in need of revision. In this highly regarded volume, Zachary Leader argues that the continuing influence of a Romantic preference for what comes naturally, with a concomitant devaluing of thesecondary processes, distorts our understanding of the actual creative practices of writers of the period, even those most closely associated with Romantic assumptions. `Second thoughts' (including those of collaborators) play a crucial role in the writings of Wordsworth, Byron, Coleridge, MaryShelley, Clare, and Keats. Other assumptions complicated by a study of the actual revising practices of Romantic writers are those which associate composition with the organic and with process, or which characterize authors as independent agents or figures of coherent and consistent subjectivity. In the first part of thebook, Leader shows how revisionary and editorial habits (those not only of the writers themselves but of their modern editors) reflect conflicting attitudes to the self or personal identity; in the second, these attitudes are related to the role of `collaborators' in the revising process, includingfamily, friends, publishers, critics, and readers.

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The Romantic author as spontaneous, extemporizing, otherworldly, and autonomous is a fiction much in need of revision. In this highly regarded volume, Zachary Leader argues that the continuing influence of a Romantic preference for what comes naturally, with a concomitant devaluing of thesecondary processes, distorts our understanding ...

Zachary Leader is Professor of English Literature at Roehampton Institute, London

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Format:PaperbackPublished:June 3, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198186347

ISBN - 13:9780198186342

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart One: Revision and Personal Identity1. Wordsworth, Revision, and Personal Identity2. Byron, Revision, and the Stable Self3. Coleridge's Revisionary ComplexityPart Two: Revision and Authorial Autonomy4. Parenting Frankenstein5. John Taylor and the Poems of Clare6. Keats, the Critics, and the PublicAppendixBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Revision and Romantic Authorship is an intelligent, articulate, and well-documented analysis of recent textual scholarship and current theories of editing as these fields impinge upon critical understanding of the English Romantics ... those who have missed the beginning of the lively debatesamong editors and require a readable introduction to some of the issues now in play in the burgeoning field of textual theory should find ample value here as a starting point from which to engage both the texts of the Romantics and the primary documents underlying the various versions of thosetexts.'Donald H. Reiman, University of Delaware, The Wordsworth Circle, Autumn '96