Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.581819
Title: Manipulative sympathies : creativity and sensibility in the letters of Lamb and Keats
Author: Gronland, Daniel William
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
Literary criticism has failed to do justice to the creative aspect of letters. The correspondence of Lamb and Keats are testament to this. Typically, these texts have been appropriated by critics as supplemental, biographical material. This thesis addresses this shortcoming. It analyses the familiar-letters of these writers and attempts to answer this question: how can we understand these letters as stand-alone literary texts? Absence defines the situation of the letter-writer; this thesis posits that the creativity ofletters is constituted by the distinctive ways in which letter-writers seek to overcome this situation. Chapters on Lamb and Keats demonstrate four permutations of the form's creativity. Imaginative sympathies and sensibility are found at the heart of their creative processes, as they attempt to imagine recipients and themselves from these perspectives. These uses of sensibility and sympathy suggest new ways in which both concepts can be read; they offer us a new insight into the relationship between moral concepts and literary creativity. David Hume, Joseph Priestley, David Hartley and, particularly, Adam Smith provide the conceptual basis for my investigation. In doing so, this thesis develops our understanding of the continuity between empiricist conceptions of sympathy and identity and Romantic- period creativity. It also contributes to the evolving picture of creativity in the wider period by showing how it can be fundamentally interpersonal, interactive, and inspired by isolation and embattlement. Through its focus on sympathy as a means of understanding the unique conditions, challenges and creativity of the form this study offers a suggestive point of origin for future investigations into the creative nature of letters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.581819  DOI: Not available
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