Allegories of One's Own Mind: Melancholy in Victorian Poetry

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Ohio State University Press, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 226 pages
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"Perhaps because major Victorians like Thomas Carlyle and Matthew Arnold proscribed Romantic melancholy as morbidly diseased and unsuitable for poetic expression, critics have neglected or understated the central importance of melancholy in Victorian poetry. Allegories of One's Own Mind re-directs our attention to a mode that Arnold was rejecting as morbid but also acknowledging when he disparaged the widely current idea that the highest ambition of poetry should be to present an allegory of the poet's own mind. This book shows how early Victorian poets suffered from and railed against what they perceived to be a "disabling post-Wordsworthian melancholy" - we might refer to it as depression - and yet benefited from this self-absorbed or love-obsessed state, which ironically made them more productive."--BOOK JACKET.
 

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Contents

Melancholy and Victorian Poetry
1
Tennysons Hollow Oes and Aes
41
Elizabeth Barrett and the Emotion of the Trapped
91
Filthy Rags of Speech Brownings Melancholy Optimism
134
Edward Fitzgerald Melancholy Orientalism Aestheticism
188
Notes
203
Works Cited
211
Index
221
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