Romantic Things: A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud

Paperback | March 18, 2015

byMary Jacobus

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Our thoughts are shaped as much by what things make of us as by what we make of them. Lyric poetry is especially concerned with things and their relationship to thought, sense, and understanding. In Romantic Things, Mary Jacobus explores the world of objects and phenomena in nature as expressed in Romantic poetry alongside the theme of sentience and sensory deprivation in literature and art.
 
Jacobus discusses objects and attributes that test our perceptions and preoccupy both Romantic poetry and modern philosophy. John Clare, John Constable, Rainer Maria Rilke, W. G. Sebald, and Gerhard Richter make appearances around the central figure of William Wordsworth as Jacobus explores trees, rocks, clouds, breath, sleep, deafness, and blindness in their work. While she thinks through these things, she is assisted by the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jacques Derrida, and Jean-Luc Nancy. Helping us think more deeply about things that are at once visible and invisible, seen and unseen, felt and unfeeling, Romantic Things opens our eyes to what has been previously overlooked in lyric and Romantic poetry.

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Our thoughts are shaped as much by what things make of us as by what we make of them. Lyric poetry is especially concerned with things and their relationship to thought, sense, and understanding. In Romantic Things, Mary Jacobus explores the world of objects and phenomena in nature as expressed in Romantic poetry alongside the theme of...

Mary Jacobus is professor emerita of English at Cornell University and at the University of Cambridge, where she directed the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities until 2011.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:March 18, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022627134X

ISBN - 13:9780226271347

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Gravity of Thing
Chapter 1 Cloud Studies:
            The Visible Invisible
Chapter 2 Pastoral, after History:
            The Apple Orchard
Chapter 3 Touching Things:
            “Nutting” and the Standing of Trees
Chapter 4 Composing Sound:
            The Deaf Dalesman, “The Brothers,” and Epitaphic Signs
Chapter 5 “Distressful Gift”:
            Talking to the Dead
Chapter 6 The Breath of Life:
            Wordsworth and the Gravity of Thought
Chapter 7 “On the Very Brink of Vacancy”:
            Things Unbeseen                     
Chapter 8 Senseless Rocks
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“This richly wide-ranging meditation on the lyrical mode and its representation of things reflects on the relationship between sensate and insensate forms, the emotive and poetic, philosophy and poetry, and literature and visual culture. . . . Poignantly reminds us of the importance of the poetic act in seeing things anew.”