Lamb, Coleridge, and the Poetics of Publication

Howe, Anthony (2020) Lamb, Coleridge, and the Poetics of Publication. Romanticism, 26 (3). pp. 245-254. ISSN 1354-991X

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Abstract

This essay explores the poetics of Lamb’s early letters to Coleridge. I argue for a sharp awareness, on Lamb’s part, of the potentially negative effect publication can have on literary writing. Lamb resists this at the level of epistolary form, by entwining his sonnets with the letters into which he writes them. Where Lamb’s poems, taken in themselves, remain modest performances, the letter-poem hybrid texts in which they participate are of significant critical interest. Among other things they establish a critique of Coleridge and his paying court to the literary marketplace. These insights, I go on to suggest, can also help us to understand both writers’ more mature work, notably the complex lyric-epistolary compound that is Coleridge’s ‘This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison’.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3366/rom.2020.0475
Date: 30 November 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lamb, Coleridge, letters, epistolarity, poetics, friendship
Subjects: Q300 English studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Media and English > School of English
REF UoA Output Collections > REF2021 UoA27: English Language and Literature
Depositing User: Selina Schmidt
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2021 11:27
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2021 15:09
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10688

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