Between Cant and Anguish: Hume in Coleridge’s Imagination
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If we can even speak of such things, is the ‘ontology’ of a lyric poem something like its ethical occasion? Or is it an image that enforces a closed spatial form and repeats a parable for what we over weeningly think a poem must be? Does it matter what we take for that emblem? A shard or an urn? A toy or a tree? Allen Grossman’s affirmation – in which the ontological character of lyric poetry holds from the stunning fact that others exist in tension with the subject – runs up from the other direction against Virginia Jackson’s judgment that the genre itself is projected by a history of interpretation-as-ontology. For Jackson, this is the largely twentieth-century discipline of ‘lyric reading,’ in whose name we make violent appropriations just in categorizing certain things as ‘poems.’1
KeywordsPrimary Imagination Lyric Reading Lyric Poetry Romantic Study Unconditional Respect
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