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The ideology of imagination : subject and society in the discourse of Romanticism /
Forest Pyle.
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1995.
description
xi, 225 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0804716498 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1995.
isbn
0804716498 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
1076285
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 179-218) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-09:
A reader looking at the title of Pyle's book might expect an analysis or critique of the reading, made famous by Bloom and Abrams, that poets like Blake and Wordsworth reacted to the failure of the French Revolution to fulfill its apocalyptic promise by turning the idea of revolution inward in a retreat from politics to personal spiritual development. Instead Pyle (Univ. of Oregon) argues that "imagination is given a social and political assignment as much as a poetic or philosophical one: the imagination is the figure by which Romantic texts address the disjunction between subject and society as well as that between matter and spirit." For Pyle, the crucial break comes with Shelley's "The Triumph of Life," which recognizes the impossibility of transcending ideology and begins to articulate a "materialist poetics." Pyle spends a good deal of time discussing Althusser and de Man, who come to seem more central than the Romantic writers. Strangely, given Blake's emphasis on the imagination and his clear ideological commitments, Pyle omits him altogether. Though there is no bibliography, Pyle's copious notes reveal his mastery of contemporary critical theory. Recommended for graduate students and scholars in critical theory; students of Romanticism will find this book disappointing. S. F. Klepetar; St. Cloud State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Engrossing. . . . Intensely interesting readings abound in this book."Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900
"Engrossing. . . . Intensely interesting readings abound in this book."-- Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900
"Perceptive close reading of Coleridge's Biographia Literaria and other works, Wordsworth's Prelude, Shelley's Triumph of Life, Keats's Fall of Hyperion, and George Eliot's Adam Bede and The Mill on the Floss."The Wordsworth Circle
"Perceptive close reading of Coleridge'sBiographia Literariaand other works, Wordsworth'sPrelude, Shelley'sTriumph of Life, Keats'sFall of Hyperion, and George Eliot'sAdam BedeandThe Mill on the Floss."The Wordsworth Circle
"Perceptive close reading of Coleridge's Biographia Literaria and other works, Wordsworth's Prelude , Shelley's Triumph of Life , Keats's Fall of Hyperion , and George Eliot's Adam Bede and The Mill on the Floss ."-- The Wordsworth Circle
"Pyle is especially good at teasing out the chiasmic relations of the literary and the real."-- The Byron Journal
"Pyle makes Romanticism interesting all over again. . . . His provocative rereading of five major authors demonstrates that we can learn something very important about nineteenth-century social theoryand particularly the role of ideologyfrom Romantic representations of the imagination."Nancy Armstrong, Brown University
"Pyle makes Romanticism interesting all over again. . . . His provocative rereading of five major authors demonstrates that we can learn something very important about nineteenth-century social theory--and particularly the role of ideology--from Romantic representations of the imagination."--Nancy Armstrong, Brown University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 1995
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
"Pyle makes Romanticism interesting all over again. . . . His provocative rereading of five major authors demonstrates that we can learn something very important about nineteenth-century social theoryand particularly the role of ideologyfrom Romantic representations of the imagination."Nancy Armstrong, Brown University "Perceptive close reading of Coleridge's Biographia Literaria and other works, Wordsworth's Prelude, Shelley's Triumph of Life, Keats's Fall of Hyperion, and George Eliot's Adam Bede and The Mill on the Floss."The Wordsworth Circle
Back Cover Copy
"Pyle makes Romanticism interesting all over again. . . . His provocative rereading of five major authors demonstrates that we can learn something very important about nineteenth-century social theory--and particularly the role of ideology--from Romantic representations of the imagination."--Nancy Armstrong, Brown University "Perceptive close reading of Coleridge's Biographia Literaria and other works, Wordsworth's Prelude, Shelley's Triumph of Life, Keats's Fall of Hyperion, and George Eliot's Adam Bede and The Mill on the Floss."--The Wordsworth Circle
Main Description
Exploring how the concept of the imagination is figured in some principal texts of English Romanticism, this book convincingly argues that this figuring is a deeply ideological activity which reveals important social and political investments. By attending to the textual figures of the imagination, the book sheds critical light not only on Romanticism but on the very workings of ideology. To demonstrate his thesis, the author undertakes critical re-readings of four major Romantic authors - Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats - and shows how the legacy of ideology and imagination is reflected in the novels of George Eliot. He shows that for each of these writers, the imagination is neither a faculty that can be presumed nor one idea among others; it is something that must be theorized and, in Coleridge's words, "instituted." Once instituted, Coleridge asserts, the imagination can address England's fundamental social antagonisms and help restore national unity. More pointedly, the institution of the imagination is the cornerstone of a "revolution in philosophy" that would prevent the importation of a more radical - and more French - political revolution. In the process of re-reading the Romantic tradition, the author undertakes a critical reconsideration of the articulations between Marxism and deconstruction, particularly as expressed in the work of Louis Althusser and Paul de Man.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. vii
Introduction Of Imagination and Ideologyp. 1
Coleridge The Institution of Imaginationp. 27
Wordsworth The Poetry of Enshrinementp. 59
Shelley The Ends of Imagination, the """"Triumph"""" of Ideology From the """"Education of Error"""" to an """"Epistemological Break""""p. 94
Keats The Materialism of Poetic Resistancep. 129
Eliot Sympathy, Or the Imagination of Communityp. 147
Epilogue: """"Something's Missing"""" A Gap of Hopep. 173
Reference Matterp. 177
Notesp. 179
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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