Beginning with a reassessment of contemporary romantic studies, this book provides a modern critical comparison of Keats and Shelley. The study offers detailed close readings of a variety of literary genres (including the romance, lyric, elegy and literary fragment) adopted by Keats and Shelley to explore their poetic treatment of self and form. The poetic careers of Keats and Shelley embrace a tragic affirmation of those darker elements latent in the earlier writings to meditate on their own posthumous reception and reputation. Fresh readings of Keats and Shelley show how they conceive of the self as fictional and anticipate Nietzsche's modern theories of subjectivity. Nietzsche's conception of the subject as a site of conflicting fictions usefully measures this emergent sense of poetic self and form in Keats and Shelley. This Nietzschean perspective enriches our appreciation of the considerable artistic achievement of these two significant second-generation romantic poets.
Contents: Preface; Reading Nietzsche's anti-romanticism; Fictions of the self; Tragic romance; Lyrical transgressions; Posthumous meditations; Poetic ruins; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Mark Sandy is Lecturer in English at The Department of English Studies, University of Durham, UK.
Reviews: 'This book is a valuable comparative study of Keats and Shelley, and offers useful insights into the theoretical and critical context of current Romantic studies.'
'Mark Sandy's compelling book is a comparative analysis of the works of Shelley and Keats 'from a Nietzschean perspective'... the great strengths of this book are: its refreshingly new readings of canonical texts using a critical approach that happily takes into its ken lesser-known works; its sensitivity to form, genre and to the beauties of the poetry under examination; its admirable versatility in considering these alongside perennially pertinent questions about subjectivity, history and language.'
British Association for Romantic Studies
‘… suggestive and intelligent book… It is an admirable and adventurous study of subjectivity through the sensitive close reading of genre.’
The Year's Work in English Studies
‘…Sandy's book more than fulfills [Ashgate's 'The Nineteenth Century'] series' mandate to generate new ideas and theories while preserving the values of 'traditional scholarship'. Sandy deftly constructs a thought-provoking analysis of the 'treatment of self' in the works of Keats and Shelley…supported by immensely useful discursive and bibliographic footnotes.’
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