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History of English Literature Jan.3 "Thomas Gray"

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Peter Walley

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rdJanuary 3Thomas GrayElegy Writing in a Country Churchyard Codary publication circulation of manuscript within a small circle of friendsMovement between scribal culture and publishing cultureOpening lines sets the tone for the entire work foreshadowing of what is to comeThe curfew tolls the knell of parting day knellbellssymbol of schedule but also of death signifier of deathdeath emerges the death of the dayLethargic melancholy atmosphereTimeline begins with the closing of the day closing of the work day the endEmbodies folk fears owlTropenight as death protogothic predates scary storiesSound replaces sight attempting to recreate sounds within the language of the poem tinkling droning moping owlEmphasis on solitude isolation melancholy contrast of the herds vs solitary creatures owl writereven the owl is complaining about his presenceSubjectivitypresupposed by the idea that each person is a deep coherent self unto himself A modern view that did not exist in prior centuriesthey saw themselves as existing in a network of connections their lives as performances in relations with others Subjectivity is included in the cultural baggage given to us
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