Peter Swaab, 20 April 1989
Show More The Unremarkable Wordsworth by Geoffrey Hartman.
Methuen, 249 pp., £8.95, September 1987, 0 416 05142 1Show More
Wordsworth’s Historical Imagination: The Poetry of Displacement by David Simpson.
Methuen, 239 pp., £25, June 1987, 0 416 03872 7Show More
Romanticism in National Context edited by Roy Porter and Mikulas Teich.
Cambridge, 353 pp., £30, June 1988, 0 521 32605 2Show More
Romantic Affinities: Portraits from an Age 1780-1830 by Rupert Christiansen.
Bodley Head, 262 pp., £16, January 1988, 0 370 31117 5Show More
“... Wordsworth’s poetry has been able to animate critical writing, relevantly, from several different points of view. Narratologists have discussed the gaps in his storytelling and the vulnerability of the selves that do the relating; historically-minded criticism has unearthed the contemporary writings with which Wordsworth’s interact, and also shown how far he was involved not only in the politics of poetry but in the politics of public affairs; textual criticism has uncovered an exceptionally rich store of newly published texts and variants, many of them representing his first and arguably best thoughts; deconstructionists have homed in on the paradox of a poetic mission which aims to realise the ‘sad incompetence of human speech’, while both deconstruction and psychoanalysis have been attuned to Wordsworth’s sense that crucial human insights are founded, not on achieved knowledge, but on moments of loss, absence and negation – the ‘Fallings from us, vanishings;/Blank misgivings’ of the ‘Immortality Ode ...”