Kindling the Torch

  • David Simpson


In the discussion which follows, I shall inevitably find myself trying to pitch the argument back to an anterior point, one where the search for meaning and selfhood seems to promise some success. This interiority is a sort of fiction in itself, and I do not mean to imply a fixed historical development. Most of the poems to be discussed were written before 1820, but many of them seem to come down to the same convoluted paradigm, the same compulsory sojourn. Rather, it is a descriptive moment, an attempt to hold off the conclusion in order to build up a context and to show the range of options it offers; but at the same time we shall find ourselves constantly laying and unlaying the same bricks, in a process marked by repetition rather than clearly defined progress.


Complete Work Grand Design Poetical Work Descriptive Moment Aesthetic Education 
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  1. 2.
    The Prose Works of William Wordsworth ed. W.J. B. Owen and Jane W. Smyser, 3 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974), 1, 154. All subsequent references to the prose will be to this edition.Google Scholar

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© David Simpson 1979

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  • David Simpson

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