Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1973 - Literary Criticism - 550 pages
2 Reviews
In this remarkable new book, M. H. Abrams definitively studies the Romantic Age (1789–1835)—the age in which Shelley claimed that "the literature of England has arisen as it were from a new birth." Abrams shows that the major poets of the age had in common important themes, modes of expression, and ways of feeling and imagining; that the writings of these poets were an integral part of a comprehensive intellectual tendency which manifested itself in philosophy as well as poetry, in England and in Germany; and that this tendency was causally related to drastic political and social changes of the age.

But Abrams offers more than a work of scholarship, for he ranges before and after, to place the age in Western culture. he reveals what is traditional and what is revolutionary in the period, providing insights into those same two forces in the ideas of today. He shows that central Romantic ideas and forms of imagination were secularized versions of traditional theological concepts, imagery, and design, and that modern literature participates in the same process. Our comprehension of this age and of our own time is deepened by a work astonishing in its learning, vision, and humane understanding.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dmsteyn - LibraryThing

After reading Abrams’s The Mirror and the Lamp, I was eager to read more works by him. As our library had Natural Supernaturalism available, I borrowed the book a few months ago, but only got around ... Read full review

Review: Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature

User Review  - Thomas - Goodreads

I wish more academic writing were of this caliber. The breadth and depth of this study of European Romanticism is truly incredible. Particularly insightful is Abrams' treatment of how Romanticism ... Read full review

Contents

PREFACE
11
ONE This Is Our High Argument
17
Wordsworths Program for Poetry
21
The Design of Biblical History
32
The Apocalyptic Marriage
37
Christian History and Christian PsychoBiography
46
Progress and Revolution
56
Natural Supernaturalism
65
The Theodicy of the Private Life
95
The Theodicy of the Landscape
97
The Redemptive Imagination
117
Pilgrims
141
Through
197
From Blake
253
Eliot Lawrence
313
six Revelation Revolution Imagination
325

TWO Wordsworths Prelude and the CrisisA utobiography
71
The Idea of The Prelude
74
Prousts Gothic Church
80
The Art of Augustines Confessions
83
The Transactions of Mind and Nature
88
The New Earth and
373
Romantic
409
In the Preface to The Excursion
465
Copyright

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About the author (1973)

M. H. Abrams (Ph.D. Harvard) is Class of 1916 Professor of English, Emeritus at Cornell University. He received the Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Prize for The Mirror and the Lamp and the MLA s James Russell Lowell Prize for Natural Supernaturalism. He is also the author of The Milk of Paradise, A Glossary of Literary Terms, The Correspondent Breeze, and Doing Things with Texts. He is the recipient of Guggenheim, Ford Foundation, and Rockefeller Postwar fellowships, the Award in Humanistic Studies from the Academy of Arts and Sciences (1984), the Distinguished Scholar Award by the Keats-Shelley Society (1987), and the Award for Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1990). In 1999 The Mirror and the Lamp was ranked twenty-fifth among the Modern Library s "100 best nonfiction books written in English during the twentieth century.

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