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Publisher Description

I. Introduction: The Limits of Reanimation When Robert Browning published his 1868-89 book-length "murder poem," The Ring and the Book, his reputation as a poet "with special gifts of intellect and originality" that were at the same time put in the service of a poetics of great "crudity" and "jolting violence" seemed once again confirmed. (1) "I felt ... like a creature with one leg and one wing, half hopping, half flying," Browning's friend William Allingham said after reading the poem's first volume, while others characterized the poem as "incongruous materials" incapable of forming a "harmonious whole," or as simultaneously "life-like" and a "morbid anatomy." (2) These friends and reviewers, torn as they were between awe at the poem's intellectual ambition and disgust at its aesthetic execution, envisioned their ambivalence as states of bodily transformation and incomplete states at that: halfway from legs to wings, from parts to a whole, from life to death. Without acknowledging directly the grotesque corporeality so prevalent in many of Browning's most well-known dramatic monologues, these readers nonetheless see the almost-changed body as a metaphor for Browning's poetic strangeness: a strangeness characterized by the formal tension, as the historian Thomas Carlyle would have it, between "an Old Bailey story that might have been told in ten lines" and a long dramatic monologue, or, as Browning himself wrote in his "Essay on Shelley," between poetry that "reproduces things external" and poetry that is the "radiance and aroma of [the poet's] personality." (3)

GENRE
Professional & Technical
RELEASED
2011
22 December
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
42
Pages
PUBLISHER
West Virginia University Press, University of West Virginia
SELLER
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.
SIZE
216.8
KB

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