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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Our knowledge of Coleridge's life and character brings him even closer to
ourselves. We do not assume we are consulting the Delphic Oracle. Instead we 1
m 230-1. repeatedly experience the surprise that someone so near us in ...
... while also struggling against it — the attempts to cut down on it invariably
producing the withdrawal symptoms that he could half consider to be explained
by other causes (for genuine knowledge of withdrawal symptoms was lacking).
This seemed inevitable to Coleridge; the other possibility, that of being isolated,
ignorant of what our knowledge meant and therefore ignorant and lost forever,
was hideous and unacceptable. Such alienation and paralysis reflected, for one ...
... means common usage. It implied a knowledge of psychology and some
sophisticated background reading on the part of his audience. So in Chapter 7
when he mentions the imagination "in all its degrees and 1 Ch 8 headnote, below
, i 129.
The philosophic imagination becomes at one point the equivalent of "the sacred
power of self-intuition", one version of the command "Know thyself", in which "
intuitive knowledge" of the world comes to the self "by contemplating intuitively"