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Title: Coleridge's transnatural poetics
Author: Leadbetter, Gregory Marcus
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 5345
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2010
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Coleridge's Transnatural Poetics examines the simultaneous experience of exaltation and transgression as a formative principle in Coleridge's poetry and the fabric of his philosophy. Drawing upon a little-known but extremely rich notebook entry of 1812, the thesis constructs its critical vocabulary through the 'transnatural' and the 'daemonic', as Coleridge uses the terms to define each other and the peculiar qualities of his mind: an imagination fascinated by the transnatural, which in consequence, conceives of itself as daemonic. The thesis proceeds to demonstrate the significance of the principle this represents, as the basis for a new reading of his work. This study focuses primarily on the 1790s, as the period in which Coleridge's spiritual and poetic concerns took shape, but incorporates material from across his notebooks, letters and other prose, in order to demonstrate the continuity as well as the modulation of Coleridge's work. In critical method, the thesis seeks to integrate an informed awareness of social and historical contingencies with a sensitivity to the capacity of language itself to constitute experience. By showing how the 'transnatural' and the 'daemonic' combine to illustrate both the abiding tensions and restless productivity of Coleridge's writing, the thesis throws new light on his relationship with Christianity and Unitarianism; his mythological syncretism; the 'one life' and his organic metaphors of becoming; his psychology of the will and theories of the imagination; his ideas on the Fall and the Prometheus myth; his responses to Shakespeare, Milton and Locke; his crucial relations with Wordsworth, and the vexed concept of 'nature'; his ideas on the poetics of language; his relationship to the literature of the supernatural; and the creative principle of 'poetic faith'. Developing its theme through Coleridge's poetry, including lesser-known works such as 'Melancholy', 'Lewti' and 'The Wanderings of Cain', the exposition builds from 'The Eolian Harp' to 'The FosterMother's Tale', Osorio, 'Frost at Midnight', 'The Nightingale', and a new interpretation of the poems in which Coleridge produced his most compelling myths: 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', 'Kubla Khan' and 'Christabe1'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available