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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Supposed irritability of men of Genius — Brought to the test of Facts — Causes
and Occasions of the charge — Its Injustice 30 Chapter 3. The author's
obligations to critics, and the probable occasion — Principles of modern criticism
... and "psycho-biography"; the revived interest in the "theory of literature", which
turns for suggestions — as Coleridge himself did — to the Continent, especially
to the fertile genius of intellectual Germany in the period from about 1760 to 1830
In one of those comparisons of which he was so fond, likening himself to
awkward birds who can neither fly nor sing well, he had said: "I have too clearly
before me the idea of a poet's genius to deem myself other than a very humble
poet; but ...
... and when he explains that there is a "philosophic imagination" and "a
philosophic, no less than a poetic genius", he is bringing to a culmination and
putting into short form scores of similar and overlapping functions of the
imagination made ...
As he states in a note full of praise, this is the Scot Alexander Gerard and his
Essay on Genius (1774), widely popular in Germany. From Gerard (also a source
for Kant) Tetens took the idea that genius reveals the highest form of imagination.