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Title: "A Land of Shadows and Apparition": Thought and Reality in Coleridge's Late Poetry
Authors: Tesserin, Francesca
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: Padova, Editoriale Programma
Abstract: Coleridge's late poetry seems to depart from the reliance on both his own poetic and perceptive powers and from his early conviction of being capable of grasping, mastering and recreating outer reality with the aid of imagination. In "Constancy to An Ideal Object", the certainties of the past and the belief that " in our hearts alone doesnature live" is radically transformed into the bitter awareness that the "ideal object", the pure essence and truth of things which was formerly conceived as the sole intermediary between thought and reality, is nothing but a ghost and an optical hallucination. This standpoint is, to some extent, the pessimistic radicalisation of theSchellingian idea that "the spirit in all the objects which it views, views only itself". Coleridge acknowledged thus the paradoxical nature of the poetic utterance, which in asserting, at the same time denied. In "Limbo", this insoluble dichotomy is superbly conveyed by means of a non-description, expressing a sense of utter loss, privation and complete absence.
Appears in Collections:Annali di Ca' Foscari. Serie occidentale

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