On Form: Poetry, Aestheticism, and the Legacy of a Word

By Angela Leighton

What's shape? Why does shape subject? during this ingenious and bold research, Angela Leighton assesses not just the legacy of Victorian aestheticism, and its richly ingenious key-phrase, 'form', but additionally the very nature of the literary. She indicates how writers, for 2 centuries and extra, have back to the assumption of shape as whatever which incorporates the key of artwork itself. She tracks the advance of the observe from the Romantics to modern poets, and provides shut readings of, between others, Tennyson, Pater, Woolf, Yeats, Stevens, and Plath, to teach how shape has supplied the only most vital means of accounting for the pursuits of literary language itself. She investigates, for example, the previous debate of shape and content material, of shape as track or sound-shape, because the ghostly dynamic and dynamics of a textual content, in addition to its lengthy organization with the aestheticist precept of being 'for nothing'. In a wide-ranging and creative argument, she means that shape is the main to the excitement of the literary textual content, and that that excitement is a part of what literary feedback itself must resolution and convey.

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Furthermore, i'm very thankful to Bloodaxe Books for permission to reprint the larger a part of Anne Stevenson’s poem, ‘The determine within the Carpet’, from Poems: 1955–2005 (Tarset: Bloodaxe Books, 2004), 290–1, all rights reserved. thank you, too, to the Syndics of Cambridge college Library for permission to breed a line from the drafts of Anne Stevenson’s ‘Willow Song’, from the Stevenson Archive, CUL, MS. upload. 9451. For permission to cite Heather McHugh’s ‘What Poems are For’, from Hinge & signal: Poems, 1968–1993 (Wesleyan college Press, 1994), 179, thank you are as a result of Wesleyan college Press, all rights reserved. when you consider that this is often an instructional ebook i've got taken care to make sure that all different quotations from copyright fabric fall in the definition of reasonable dealing for the needs of literary feedback. i'm relatively acutely aware e-book of this diversity of reference should be to blame of all types of omissions. someone who writes feedback this day understands the issues of maintaining with innumerable experts in each field, and for that reason the risks of failing to take action. I stay indebted and thankful to innumerable writers and critics whom i've got learn yet now not quoted, on aestheticism, shape, and poetry regularly, in addition to to person authors who've, through the years, helped me to determine my very own interpretations. those represent the ghostly backdrop of this e-book, and that i can in simple terms say that, with no them, it is going to no longer itself have materialized. To my editors and copy-editors at OUP, specifically Andrew McNeillie, Eva Nyika, and Jack Sinden, i'm thankful for aid, persistence, and recommendation. Contents 1. Form’s topic: A Retrospective 1 2. paintings for paintings: On Pots, Crocks, Lyres, and Flutes 30 three. Touching types: Tennyson and Aestheticism fifty five four. Aesthetic stipulations: Pater’s Re-forming sort seventy four five. Seeing not anything: Vernon Lee’s Ghostly Aesthetics ninety nine 6. only a note: On Woolf a hundred twenty five 7. Yeats’s ft a hundred and forty four eight. Wallace Stevens’ Eccentric Souvenirs one hundred seventy nine. W. S. Graham: within the Mind’s Ear 198 10. different types of Elegy: Stevenson, Muldoon, Hill, Fisher 220 eleven. Elegies of shape: Bishop, Plath, Stevenson 242 12. not anything, yet: An Afterword 263 Bibliography Index 267 285 This web page deliberately left clean The thinker can't simply understand that the artist passes, nearly with indifference, from shape to content material and from content material to shape; that shape involves the artist with the which means that he needs to provide it … Paul Val´ery (This is a sort of subject of subject she sang. ) Jorie Graham 1 Form’s subject: A Retrospective what's shape? Why may shape subject? Why does this note proceed to fret our money owed of artwork? The note is totally regularly occurring, but additionally unspecific, summary, aloof. In literary feedback at the least, it has a tendency to figure with no articles, no longer as a kind or the shape, or maybe the shape of, yet simply ‘form’—as if it have been a type of ‘essential Forms’¹ which Plato positioned past the realm of passing appearances, ‘unchangeably within the comparable nation for ever’. ² these notwithstanding, Plato additionally admits, ‘manifest themselves in an outstanding number of combos, with activities, with fabric issues, and with one another’.

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