Shelley and the Apprehension of Life

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 15, 2013 - Literary Criticism - 241 pages
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Percy Bysshe Shelley, in the essay 'On Life' (1819), stated 'We live on, and in living we lose the apprehension of life'. Ross Wilson uses this statement as a starting point to explore Shelley's fundamental beliefs about life and the significance of poetry. Drawing on a wide range of Shelley's own writing and on philosophical thinking from Plato to the present, this book offers a timely intervention in the debate about what Romantic poets understood by 'life'. For Shelley, it demonstrates poetry is emphatically 'living melody', which stands in resolute contrast to a world in which life does not live. Wilson argues that Shelley's concern with the opposition between 'living' and 'the apprehension of life' is fundamental to his work and lies at the heart of Romantic-era thought.
 

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Contents

Poetry and the theory oflife
21
Living losing life
46
Mere wheels of work
66
Happier forms
86
Sounds of air
116
Poetry and the life of theory
142
Coda
166
Notes
173
Bibliography
209
Index
220
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About the author (2013)

Ross Wilson is Lecturer in Literature at the School of Literature, Drama, and Creative Writing, University of East Anglia.

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