Essays in Romanticism

Omphalos

Essays in Romanticism (2015), 22, (2), 167–181.

Abstract

In Wordsworth’s Poetry, Hartman identifies two basic political models through which Wordsworth understands the French Revolution: the first is associated with the gradualism of an unfolding natural process, and is linked with an investment in natural law. The second is more closely related to Hartman’s argument in the “Via Naturaliter Negativa” chapter that Wordsworth conceived of the imagination in terms of a rupture with nature; from this perspective, the Revolution comes to be associated with the “apocalyptic” structure of the imagination itself. This essay argues that a close reading of two key figures in Wordsworth’s development of the political dimension of the imagination—the blind beggar of Book VII of The Prelude and Michel de Beaupuy in Book IX, complicates this apparent dichotomy.

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Author details

Kuiken, Kir