Essays in Romanticism

As It Were Face to Face: A Reading of Geoffrey Hartman’s “Via Naturaliter Negativa”

Essays in Romanticism (2015), 22, (2), 203–213.

Abstract

Taking as its point of departure an analysis of the tri-partite dialectical structure of the “Via Naturaliter Negativa” chapter of Wordsworth’s Poetry, this essay then seeks to show how the dialectical pattern is shadowed by another pattern of development, the two-stage Pauline scheme of figure and fulfillment. If within the dialectical scheme, the rising up of the Imagination in Book VI (“VIb”) functions as a negative moment of pure self-consciousness, within the typological scheme, it is a figure whose terms are fulfilled or actualized in VIc (the Ravine of Gondo passage) or alternatively with Snowdon; in both cases, however, it is a question of reinscribing VIb within a progressive movement. At the same time, Hartman’s emphasis on the divergence between VIb’s position in the compositional sequence and the narrative sequence isolates the Imagination passage neither as a moment of absolute self-consciousness nor as a pre-figuration but rather as Wordsworth’s coming “face to face” with his own text. (Editor’s note JW)

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Warminski, Andrzej