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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The specific symptoms of poetic power elucidated in a critical analysis of Shak-
speare's Venus and Adonis, and Lucrece ... or shepherds — Poetry essentially
ideal and generic — The language of Milton as much the language of real life,
... to introduce it with a "Preface" in which he hoped to discuss his general
principles of poetry. From the start he was thinking, as a prototype, of
Wordsworth's controversial and important Preface to the second edition of Lyrical
How could such a poem possibly fit into a volume with a Preface justifying the
poetry of ordinary events and common life? A controversy of sorts appears to
have risen briefly. It ended with Wordsworth asking the printer to omit the poem
and to ...
He was at once establishing a new path for poetry (encouraged constantly by
Coleridge) — a "philosophical" exploration of the "inner life" — and, at the same
time, he was prolific. Wordsworth could do this, as Coleridge thought, only by ...
He had been encouraged to think that "a detailed publication of my opinions
concerning Poetry & Poets, would excite more curiosity and a more immediate
Interest than even my Poems". Hence a new and different work: Biographical