The Poetics of Sensibility: A Revolution in Literary Style by Jerome McgannThe Poetics of Sensibility: A Revolution in Literary Style by Jerome Mcgann

The Poetics of Sensibility: A Revolution in Literary Style

byJerome Mcgann

Paperback | April 1, 1998

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 600 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Jerome McGann's exciting new work represents a major intervention in eighteenth-century and Romantic studies. It takes as its prime aim the reading of neglected poetry, principally by women, which qualifies as either poetry of `sensibility' or poetry of `sentiment', terms which comprised therevolution in poetic style of the eighteenth century. Later reactions against these new technical and imaginative resources produced a state of cultural amnesia which The Poetics of Sensibility Rmoves to correct. While much excellent scholarly work has been devoted to this kind of writing, especially in the past few years, the critical focus has almost always been upon prose fiction and drama. Furthermore, very little work has been done to expose the new stylistic devices that writers begand to discoverand exploit. This double neglect has caused a serious deficit in our ability to appreciate or even to read much of the poetry of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. McGann's polemical study is therefore an ambitious effort to begin reconstructing the order of our cultural inheritance. Its aesthetic focus sets it apart from virtually every other work of this kind. The book represents both of the major poetical movements of the past two centuries--romanticismand modernism--as cultural reactions against the procedures of sensibility and sentimentality. Romanticism is seen as an effort to curb or modify what were taken to be the more dangerous tendencies of the sentimental revolution. Modernism's anathema against sentimental styles, on the other hand,framed its argument on behalf of a set of (broadly classical and formalist) literary conventions. The Poetics of Sensibility examines the attitudes and procedures followed by various poets who were developing other, novel resources of poetical language made possible by the Lockean revolution. The range of discussion is extensive, but special emphasis is placed on the formative period ofc.1730-1830.
McGann is an extremely eminent, well-known, and influential critic of Romantic poetry: his name is enough to sell his work.
Title:The Poetics of Sensibility: A Revolution in Literary StyleFormat:PaperbackDimensions:228 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.51 inPublished:April 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198184786

ISBN - 13:9780198184782


Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Roads of Excess1. A Disordering of the Senses2. Coleridge's `Eolian Harp' and the Motion of Thought3. Thomas Gray's `Thoughts, that breathe, and words that burn'4. Ossian as a Poetry of KnowledgePart II: `Sensate Hearts': The Poetry of Sensibility5. Learning by Doing: The Example of `The Amourous Lady'6. Frances Greville's `A Prayer for Indifference'7. Ann Yearsley's `Remonstrance in the Platonic Shade, Flourishing on an Height'8. Motherhood and the Self Unknown9. The Literal World of the English Della Cruscans10. Mary Robinson and the Myth of SapphoPart III: The `Feeling Mind' of Sentimental Poetry11. Sentimental Grounds: Schiller, Wordsworth, Bernardin, Shelley, Keats12. Enlightened Minds: Sir William Jones and Erasmus Darwin13. Sentimentalism as Consumption and Exchange14. Waking from Adam's Dream: L.E.L.'s Art of Disillusion15. The Loss of Sentimental Poetry16. Literary History, Romanticism, and Felicia Hemans: A Conversation between A. Mack, J. J. Rome, and G. MannejcConclusion: Starting from Death: The Poetry of Ann Batten CristallBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`McGann's most interesting strategy is a theoretical manoeuvre, a postmodern inflection of the romantic paradox that 'bad is good'... the sublimely ambitious agenda of this short book.'Mark Jones, The Wordsworth Circle Autumn '99