Re-reading The Excursion: Narrative, Response, and the Wordsworthian Dramatic Voice

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Ashgate, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 272 pages
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Re-Reading The Excursion: Narrative, Response and the Wordsworthian Dramatic Voice transforms contemporary critical understanding of The Excursion and of the place of this long poem in the Wordsworthian canon. Sally Bushell argues that the poem, which has suffered at the hands of critics for most of the twentieth century, has been unfairly judged according to a Coleridgean rather than a Wordsworthian definition of philosophy-that it has been read as a didactic work, rather than one which uses its dramatic form to teach its readers to think for themselves. She offers a new reading, based on her view that The Excursion is about providing the readers with moral habits and mental constructs by which to learn, not simply telling them what to think.
The conclusion reached is that Wordsworth is not just the egotistical poet of The Prelude, interested largely in the development of his own imaginative powers, but one who goes on to explore the limits of subjectivity and the importance of different kinds of imaginative links between individuals.

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Poets Voice
17
Dramatic Composition Dramatic Definition
41
Copyright

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