Seven Metaphysical Poets: A Structural Study of the Unchanging Self

Hardcover | May 1, 2000

byRobert Ellrodt

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Robert Ellrodt's study of seven poets - springing from his wide-ranging three-volume work, Les Poetes metaphysiques anglais - challenges the postmodernist assumption that no definite or constant self can be traced in the works of a writer. Distinct modes of self-awareness, different emphasesin the perception of time and space, and various ways of grasping the sensible and the spiritual, the human and the divine, jointly or separately characterize the minds of Donne and George Herbert, Crashaw and Vaughan, Lord Herbert, Marvell, and Traherne. Fundamental mental structures affect theirattitudes to love, death, and God, and dictate their privileged modes of composition and expression. Without neglecting the relations between these individual traits and the general evolution of thought from classical antiquity to the Renaissance, or the immediate cultural environment in which each poet wrote, this critical study maintains the primacy of individual choice, of the 'unchangingself'. The book is not based on a theory, but on a close scrutiny of the characteristic interplay of personal modes of thought and sensibility.

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Robert Ellrodt's study of seven poets - springing from his wide-ranging three-volume work, Les Poetes metaphysiques anglais - challenges the postmodernist assumption that no definite or constant self can be traced in the works of a writer. Distinct modes of self-awareness, different emphasesin the perception of time and space, and vari...

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Format:HardcoverPublished:May 1, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198117388

ISBN - 13:9780198117384

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Table of Contents

Editions and ReferencesIntroductionPart I: Modes of Self-AwarenessJohn Donne: Self-Oriented Self-ConsciousnessGeorge Herbert: God-Oriented Self-ConsciousnessRichard Crashaw: The Surrender of SelfAndrew Marvell: Elusiveness and ReflexivityEdward Lord Herbert and Thomas Traherne: from Self-Reflexivity to Solipsism?Part II: Time, Space, and WorldJohn DonneGeorge Herbert and Henry VaughanRichard CrashawAndrew Marvell and Edward HerbertThomas TrahernePart III: Modes of Religious Sensibility and Modes of thoughtJohn Donne and Bifold NaturesGeorge Herbert and Richard Crashaw: Two Versions of the Christian ParadoxHenry Vaughan: Supernatural NaturalismAndrew Marvell and Edward Herbert: The Dualistic ApproachThomas Traherne: Sensuous IdealismPart IV: Historical LandmarksThe Slow Emergence of Self-ConsciousnessNew Perceptions of Time and SpaceChange and the Donne GenerationConclusionIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Ellrodt builds on his extensive earlier scholarly studies while continuing to add insights into this group of major poets. ...an essential statement of a major point of view.'J.R. Buchert, Choice, May 2001.