_Writing of the Disaster_

Jacobus, "The Ordinary Sky: Wordsworth, Blanchot, and the Writing of Disaster"

Taking as its point of departure Wollheims autobiographical observation about a sight that stirred him to melancholy, this essay explores a series of passages that attest to Wordsworth's fixation on similar sights in poetry associated with the composition of 'The Ruined Cottage'. Other poems by Wordsworth--'A Night Piece' and 'The Discharged Soldier'--open transcendental or deathly vistas relating to the sky. In _The Writing of the Disaster_, Blanchot testifies to his childhood experience of a premature death that emptied the sky of significance, suggesting (with Winnicott) the the unrecognized trauma attached to ordinary sights, and--by extension--the problem of autobiography. This essay appears in _Romantic Psyche and Psychoanalysis_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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