ENGL203 Lecture Notes 2013.docx

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English (Arts)
ENGL 203
Miranda Hickman

ENGL203 Departmental Survey of English Literature II Lecture NotesthLecture 1 January 9 2013 1 SurveyCommand of something comprehensive view Surveys always leave us wanting finer detail Wealth of material By definition the approach of the survey can leave us hungry for further depth 2 CanonOED 2002 A body of literary works traditionally regarded as the most important significant and worthy of study those works literature considered to be established as being of the highest quality and most enduring valueAuthorities list of books sanctioned section of books Connotes on the one hand the concept of measuring Canon in later times used to signify list of books and authors In this context Canon suggested worthy of texts and preservation over others A collection of texts and authors according to judgments of authors critics etc that were thought of as being worthy of preservation This group is always in flux always can be revised Various canons over the notion of one canon of texts that are better than others 3 PeriodsRomantic c 17851830 o William Wordsworth William Blake Mary Shelly Lord ByronJohn Keats etc o Value of selfexpression communication of emotion spontaneity naturalness o Romanticism in England was thought to be flowering specifically in the mode of poetry Until recently it was thought that 6 poets captured the essence of the Romantic Period best They are often called the six Wordsworth Coleridge and Blake Percy Shelly John Keats Lord ByronVictorian c18301900 o High Victorian Period 18301880 o Fin de sicle c 18801900Rebellion against VictorianOscar Wilde William Butler Yates etcAppreciating art for art sake not for other purposes ie for education etcThis period as a kind of return to Romanticism in some respects Other critics have said that this period could be included within the Modernist periodModernist c19001950 TS Eliot Virginia Woolf Ezra Pound 4 Debates about RomanticismAO Lovejoy vs Ren Wellek tho Ren Wellek earlier in the 20 century who weighed in on period terms and how to use them and how to use them well He suggested that when we are dealing with these terms we dont have to think of them as arbitrary or metaphysical entities He said that periods could be seen as names which have been normal to refer to throughout time He emphasized that a period in literature involves the dominance but not the rules of a norm o A debate about periods Also a debate about the term romanticism and how it should be used and if it should be used at all o Romantic is a posthumous term It was denoted to those group of people after they die During their lifetime they didnt consider themselves as romantic writers ENGL203 Departmental Survey of English Literature II Lecture Noteso The term romantic was first used by two brothers to describe writers of earlier writers from the middle agesto describe writers like Shakespeareetc o They meant by romantic that which was modern indifferent to form and opposed to formal restraint Opposite to classical form The brothers suggested that works of this kind was in search for fullness of lifeo Arthur Lovejoyhe suggested that the term romantic was associated with such a wide range of phenomenon that now it has become uselesso Wellek asserted that there is no basis for this extreme nominalism Although there were certainly differences among different literary texts associated with Romanticism they still exhibit all of which that is under Romanticism o Were going to work with Welleks concept that there is a range of style philosophical topics that is associated with Romanticism5 Projects and Values associated with British RomanticismChallenge to neoclassical aesthetics Tom Stoppard Arcadia o Though the writers did not believe that they were Romantic writers they did believe that they belong to this united group As a united group to turn away from neoclassical writers like Alexander Pope o Pushing away from the classicalo Poetry is written differently than everyday language Wordsworth is suggesting a neoclassical idea in his preface word choice in poetry has to be specifically poetic rise above the language of everyday life He is going to use language of men in his poetry He wants to use a selection of language in his poetry that is really used by men o He has assumption of poetry that it should come from a disciplined practice He suggested instead that poetry should be fashioned with naturalness spontaneity In his view poetry should be the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings He is suggesting to what he himself what he wants to do as a poet but also that he is framing gesturing to a large project that he wants to signal and spearhead o Wordsworth also rejects the idea that language and poetry should abide by decorum That is language should be altered to suit the genre He suggests instead that poetic language should be simple and unadorned Language should be proximate to the language that we use in everyday life o Wordsworth values emotion over reason He will privilege that which is natural over that which is artificial He prefers spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings This is very different from Alexander Popeo Tom Stoppard decline from neoclassical values No longer domestic gardens its wild gardens now Liberty and Revolution o Artists of the romantic period saw themselves as freeing of restraints Restraints related to form subject matter and emotion Romanticism comes to be as superseding those limits breaking those rules o This connection between romanticism and liberty has lead to literature ththbeing linked to the revolutionary developments in the 18 and 19 century in the British Aisle and North America of libertytho American Revolution and the French Revolution of late 18C which touched many of the British Writersfought for equality liberty etc ENGL203 Departmental Survey of English Literature II Lecture Noteso To alight political revolution of this period to the revolution of the arts at this time The revolutionary spirit of the age expressed itself both in the sphere of the politics and the sphere of the arts ththo Late 18 and early 19Cin many cultural spheres expressed revolutionary discontent of the status quo Democratic impulse is expressed in the Lyrical Ballads He will focused on incidents of situations in common life This was thought to register a kind of politics that is revolutionary of his timeo Marilyn Butler We should be careful to align the political and literature revolution because not everyone linked the two o 1790became clear to many that French Revolution would be more violent than original thought Accordingly many writers who had supported the French Revolution initially Wordsworth turned away from ito Many were fearful that the French Revolution would affect England This affects the time we are considering right away the general public sentiment was against public revolutionArtmind as mirrorartmind as lamp MH Abrams The Mirrorthe lamp o How creative process was conceptualized Abrams argues that this change can be traced through the process Metaphors sensitively register the feelingo Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings The material of the poem comes from within they do not contain actions they contain feelings from within the poet himself o He wants to work with what this implies in how creative process works Analogy between poet and work itselfCelebration of Nature as Teacher o Shift of the metaphor of the word mirrorthe poem can mirror the world thimitation He suggests that in the 19 century art began to seem more valuable in another wayin expression and illumination There was a shift in how art was valued The function of Art was to hold the mirror up to nature the supreme goal of art should reflect the world Standards for the aesthetic practice But in the Romantic Period however its not just reflection of the outside world but also of expression from within Poets mind and Poets soulSpontaneous overflow of powerful feelingsEmphasis on feelings of the poet What becomes important it a combinatory effort to register what heshe is perceiving and what heshe comes to bear with what heshe perceives about himselfherself o Mind is regarded not just as a mirrorreflector but rather as an interaction as a creative producer Regarded as a lamp that can bring illumination to the external world What powers this lamp is the imagination o Wordsworthmind as active Mind of the poet should not be in subjection but should exercise some active command with what heshe works witho Samuel JohnsonRomanticism as improbable fanciful full of wild scenery and false These qualities were negatively valence Elevation of Emotion selfexpression tho By the 19C romanticism came to take on a different set of connotationso Typical elevation of the poet as an outlaw character Romanticism as the valorization of feeling of passion and feeling Romantic celebration of nature
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