The Romantic Ideology: A Critical Investigation
University of Chicago Press, Feb 15, 1985 - Literary Criticism - 172 pages
Claiming that the scholarship and criticism of Romanticism and its works have for too long been dominated by a Romantic ideology—by an uncritical absorption in Romanticism's own self-representations—Jerome J. McGann presents a new, critical view of the subject that calls for a radically revisionary reading of Romanticism.
In the course of his study, McGann analyzes both the predominant theories of Romanticism (those deriving from Coleridge, Hegel, and Heine) and the products of its major English practitioners. Words worth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Byron are considered in greatest depth, but the entire movement is subjected to a searching critique. Arguing that poetry is produced and reproduced within concrete historical contexts and that criticism must take these contexts into account, McGann shows how the ideologies embodied in Romantic poetry and theory have shaped and distorted contemporary critical activities.
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