First published in 1983, this book examines a work whose intricacies have baffled and infuriated generations of readers and proposes a theory of Coleridge’s writing habits that "explain(s) his explanation". The author painstakingly analyses the Biographia’s organising structure distinguishing between the daring conception and often inept execution of Coleridge’s idea of critical discourse. It is argued that Coleridge’s autobiographical format present a richly metaphorical "self" whose literary life has led to the now-famous doctrine of secondary imagination. The author’s command of Coleridge scholarship will shed new light on the Biographia for specialists and non-specialists alike.
Table of Contents
Preface; Abbreviations; Acknowledgments; 1 The Chamois Hunter 2 Starting Points 3 The Associative Fancy 4 Imagination’s Synthesis of Being and Knowing 5 Imagination, Philosophic Consciousness and the ‘True and Original Realism’ 6 Poetry 7 Wordsworth and Poetic Diction 8 Wordsworth and the Imaginative Particular 9 Conclusion; Notes; Index