Biographia Literaria, Or, Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions, Part 1
Biographia Literaria has emerged over the last century as a supreme work of literary criticism and one of the classics of English literature. Into this volume poured 20 years of speculation about the criticism and uses of poetry and about the psychology of art. Following the text of the 1817 edition, the editors offer the first completely annotated edition of the highly allusive work.
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Coleridge's aphoristic definition of the imagination is thus: "the Laboratory, in
which Thought elaborates Essence into Existence".2 Near the beginning of the
Philosophical Lectures, Coleridge wrote : One cannot help thinking, ...
Kant's statements about the existence of free will, immortality, and the necessity
of assuming the existence of a Supreme Being — these, Coleridge felt, were of
central importance. Kant's interpreters were mistakenly creating narrow and ...
It connects, by an act, the existence of matter with the essence of ideal forms. In
fact, it shapes the matter in the process of evolving an ideal or intellectual form.
Therefore, "The rules of the IMAGINATION are themselves the very powers of ...
... exist in all.3 The poetic or secondary imagination becomes the fullest exercise
of the self and of its inner powers. It is "the free-will, our only absolute self, that
controls and directs the creative activity of art.4 This gives poetry — and all
... the artwork of God.1 Definite similarities exist between this view of the
philosophic imagination in Coleridge (and his relating of this level of imagination
to perception, art, and religion) and the concept of "intellectual intuition" or "