Laplace-Sinatra, Michael. "'I will live beyond this life': Shelley, Prefaces and Reviewers." KSR 13 (1999): 88-104.
Laplace-Sinatra examines the Prefaces to Shelley's published works, considering especially "how Shelley used his prefatory writings to respond to and, in some occasions, to try to pre-empt the reviewers' attacks on his poetry" (89).
Rousseau's Impact on Shelley: Figuring the Written Self. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen P, 1999.
Lee examines the relationship between Rousseau and Shelley, considering especially how Rousseau's work influenced Shelley and how Rousseau himself is represented in Shelley's poetry. The analysis—detailed and persuasive—offers illuminating chapters on Queen Mab, Alastor, Julian and Maddalo, The Sensitive Plant, and, of course, The Triumph of Life. The book is theoretically astute with an eye always on issues of Romantic subjectivity, language, and the complexities of literary representation.
Lussier, Mark S.
Romantic Dynamics: A Poetics of Physicality. New York: St. Martin's P, 1999.
Romantic Dynamics is a radically interdisciplinary work. Lussier identifies parallels between, on the one hand, the concepts and metaphors of twentieth-century physics and cosmology and, on the other, the concerns of Romantic-era poetry with physical reality and its apperception by the psyche. Both areas—recent physics and Romantic poetry—are struck by questions of indeterminacy, relativity, and complexity. Lussier describes the resulting dynamic models of reality and consciousness in the work of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron and the Shelleys.
Lussier, Mark. "Wave Dynamics as Primary Ecology in Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound." RoN 16 (November 1999): <http://users.ox.ac.uk/~scat0385/physics.html>.
"Shelley’s use of the tension between differing constructions of the fundamental nature of light arises from a historical context of heated exchanges between proponents arguing over the nature of light itself, following observations that light tends to act as both wave and particle. This essay, then, seeks to bridge the somewhat conflicting modes of reading 'light' by a two part procedure: initially, I examine the historical context of Shelley’s understanding of the dynamics of light, and subsequently I strive to articulate a theoretical framework within which to connect Shelley’s thought to physical models expressed within the new physics of relativity and quantum as these relate to matters of Shelley’s deep ecology. Phrased differently, the essay seeks to find a common ground or middle path between conflicting descriptions of the play of light offered by de Man, Reiman, and Plotnitsky, for all such descriptions are required to investigate fully the role that light plays in Shelley’s argument for the complementarity of consciousness and cosmos as boundary condition for the deepest of ecologies."
Marks, Clifford J. "Fragments and Fragility: Permeable Foundations in 'The Triumph of Life.'" ERR 10.4 (Fall 1999): 515-41.
The essay focuses on the ethical dimensions of Shelley's last poem, drawing particular attention to the "the poem's and life's fragile foundations"—a fragility that Marks interprets as potentially advantageous since it "entreats individuals into ethical relationships and community"
(516). This ethical position is mirrored in the form of the poem: the unfinished, fragmentary status of the work drives readers to consider alternative potential endings, and "As long as the critical community struggles for answers, we will replicate an ethical striving that the narrator, Rousseau, and Shelley sought in their investigations into foundational humanity" (535).
O'Neill, Michael. "'A Storm of Ghosts': Beddoes, Shelley, Death, and Reputation." Cambridge Quarterly 28.2 (1999): 102-15.
The prolific O'Neill here discusses the influences of Shelley on Beddoes and describes the anxieties of fame and reputation as they affect the life and writing of the later poet. "Powerfully influenced by Shelley in particular, Beddoes at the same time makes something memorably his own out of an interiorising and extension of Romantic motifs and a pervasive sense of alienation . . ." (103).
Pyle, Forest. "'Frail Spells': Shelley and the Ironies of Exile."
In Irony and Clerisy, Ed. Deborah Elise White. RC-Praxis (August 1999): <http://www.rc.umd.edu/praxis/irony/pyle/frail.html>.
Pyle begins with a detailed reading of Shelley's "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty," stressing the numerous ironies of the "frail spells"
of poetry, philosophy, and even theology which are dispelled in acts of critical demystification. The complex and historically grounded argument concludes with Pyle's claim that "sustained attention to the workings of Shelley's texts disclose something more than the representations of their age or the literary displacements of the empirical condition of exile; Shelley's texts are limit cases of poetic thought and practice in a Romanticism which may well be far from exhausted conceptually. The continuing power of Shelley's most demanding work resides in its ability to reckon with the political as well as poetic implications of an epistemological irony so extensive that it disqualifies the claims of any clerisy to escape it, including the clerisies of contemporary criticism" (par 24).
The Poetics of Disappointment: Wordsworth to Ashbery. Charlottesville, VA: UP of Virginia, 1999.
From the opening paragraph of Quinney's Preface: "I advance an account of romanticism without consolations. In the conventional version of romanticism and its legacy, the loss of vitality and self-esteem bewailed in major first-person poems is surreptitiously compensated by a gain in intellectual or artistic entitlement; in the account given here, the losses are subtly compounded, moving up the levels into reaches of ontological catastrophe where restitution is no longer possible. The pleasures of the self are obliterated rather than solemnized, and the self disappointed with its portion is simultaneously stripped of the comfort of art" (ix). Thus Quinney introduces the bleak theme of disappointment, dejection, and even desolation which she then follows through chapters on Wordsworth, Shelley, Wallace Stevens and John Ashbery. The Shelley chapter focuses specifically on Shelley's repeated concern with the collapse of hopes and the subsequent psychology of disappointment. Quinney contends that Shelley borrowed the theme of melancholy disappointment from the sensibility poets and the earlier Romantics (especially Wordsworth), but that Shelley "played upon, explored, and expanded the fascinations of this theme with a greater range, and perhaps, a greater dexterity than any of his forbears" (67).
Under Western Eyes: India from Milton to Macaulay. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 1999.
In the Introduction, Rajan notes that "This book can be characterized as a historical study with its center of gravity in the romantic era, carried out from a postcolonial vantage point" (10). The study concentrates, of course, on the place of India in the discourse and consciousness of British public culture during a period of colonial and commercial expansion. Especially useful in the present connection are chapters on women writers on India, on Southey and The Curse of Kehama, and on Shelley's Prometheus Unbound. In the latter, Rajan develops a reading based on the force of discourse as it relates to the setting in the Indian Caucasus and to the character Asia. The work when examined in such terms forwards Shelley's transformative critique of British imperialism and the discourses of domination.
Ramadier, Bernard. "Shelley et l'encombrante enveloppe: Le Passage de l'etre a l'ombre dans Alastor." In Images fantastiques du corps, ed. Jean Marigny (Grenoble: Universite Stendhal-Grenoble, 1998), 31-42.
Roussetzki, Remy Joseph. "A Theater of Anxiety: The Irrepresentable in Shelley's 'The Cenci' and in Musset's 'Lorenzaccio' (Alfred de Musset, France, Percy Bysshe Shelley)." Ph.D. diss., 1999, CUNY, DAI, 60-01A (1999): 120, 301 pages.
Roussetzki contends that Shelley and Musset "aggravated"
the traditions of tragic drama in such a way as to generate shock and anxiety: "the dramatic action and the rhetoric of both plays ceaselessly address the radical fact that language has limits and that 'beyond' there lurks an irrepresentable, unimaginable and undefinable 'real.' Both works center around a cause for anxiety in the central characters which language, i.e. the written text, can only approach indirectly, through elaborate linguistic constructions or sublime metaphors."
comp., with Lidia Garbin. The Influence and Anxiety of the British Romantics. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen P, 1999.
This collection of essays—originally papers delivered at the 1998 conference of the British Association for Romantic Studies in Liverpool—considers the preoccupation of Romantic writers with ghosts. The term "ghosts"
is very broadly construed, referring to such diverse textual elements as the hauntings of intertextuality, authorial presence, and the "spectres"
of a writer's influential precursors. Following a preface by John Whale and an Introduction by Ruston, the collection offers essays on Charlotte Dacre, Blake, Wordsworth, Peacock, Percy Shelley, Keats, Beddoes, and Henry James.
Schwarz, Jeffrey A. "Shelley's Eternal Time: Harmonizing Form and Content in Prometheus Unbound." KSR 13 (1999): 76-87.
"Shelley's theme of love and forgiveness in Prometheus Unbound elucidates how the causality of tyranny can be broken, while, at the same time, his literary form attempts to shatter the conceptions that poetry and drama are limited to the past, and prove that they are, in actuality, eternal and timeless" (76).
Takubo, Hiroshi. "The Power and the Poet: Shelley's Ideas of Poetry." Annual Bulletin of Japan Shelley Studies Center 7 (1999): 11-41.
The essay—a chapter from Takubo's 1997 dissertation on Shelley and Wordsworth—identifies a Power that is the source and inspiration of poetic creativity. Poets are those who are sensitive to the influences of this Power, and poets are thus moved "to produce poetry that inspires in people higher sentiments that direct society to a happier state. . . . The later Wordsworth is no longer inspired by the Power, therefore his poetry no longer inspires people to imaginative visions"
(12). Takubo pursues this comparative theme through several lyrics, including especially Shelley's "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty"
and "Ode to the West Wind" and Wordsworth's Intimations Ode.
Tocchini, Delia. "'L'esprit ne souffle qu'a son heure': Lamartine, Shelley e il mito romantico dell'ispirazione poetica." Lettore di Provincia [Ravenna] 29.101 (April 1998): 77-85.
Vatalaro, Paul. "The Semiotic Echoes in Percy Shelley's Poems to Jane Williams." KSJ 48 (1999): 69-89.
In a provocative psychological-semiotic analysis of Shelley's late lyrics to Jane Williams, Vatalaro argues that the poems reveal a fundamental tension that runs throughout Shelley's poetry. On the one hand, the poet is attracted to the "feminine-maternal" (represented by Jane Williams), and he longs to be involved in a relationship of intersubjective intimacy which has its correlative in a mother-infant bond. On the other hand, Shelley resists the challenge to individual subjectivity and individual autonomy that would be the inevitable consequence of such intimacy, and seeks instead a mature adult relationship mediated by "obligation, legality, and language" (69). The lyrics turn on this psychological ambivalence.
Weineck, Silke-Maria. "'They Met—They Parted': On the Relationship Between Poetry and Madness in Julian and Maddalo." SIR 38.1 (Spring 1999): 89-102.
"In analyzing the relationship between narrative, fragmentation, and madness, I will argue that Julian and Maddalo radicalizes the notion of poetry that Shelley develops in the Defence of Poetry. What emerges is a concept of pure poetry characterized by the absolute absence of narrative; however, a purely poetic, i.e. purely non-narrative poetry would render poetic speech indistinguishable from mad speech. Ultimately, then, Julian's abandonment of the maniac stages the abandonment of a notion of radical poeticity." (89).
Shelley and His Readers: Beyond Paranoid Politics. Columbia: U of Missouri P, 1999.
Wheatley borrows the "Paranoid Politics" of her title from Richard Hofstadter's 1965 book, The Paranoid Style in American Politics. In essence, the term refers to a mode of public discourse which tends to see oppositional ideological claims through a lens of suspicion and a fear of conspiracy. This was the dominant rhetorical mode of the major reviews during those years when Shelley tried to forward his idealistic poetic works (and political ideologies). Critical hostility was inevitable, and such becomes the subject matter for Wheatley's discussion: "This book explores the dialogue between the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley and its immediate public reception" (1).
The book begins with a chapter analyzing the discursive style of three of the most influential reviews: the Quarterly, the Edinburgh (both offer numerous instances of the paranoid style), and Blackwood's Magazine (which strives for a less partisan appreciation of its subjects). Having established this context, there are three main chapters dealing respectively with Queen Mab, Prometheus Unbound, and Adonais. The argument connecting these works is subtle and detailed, but a brief synopsis finds a movement from a kind of pure and self-righteous opposition in Queen Mab, through a more collective, participatory strategy fostered by aesthetic beauty in Prometheus Unbound, to Adonais whose reception effectively realizes "a historically and generically determined manifestation of the elegy's own complex revision of Shelley's aesthetic idealism" (12). Perhaps most significant here is Wheatley's view of the poems not as some purely aesthetic objects for contemplation and study but rather as the focal points—more or less effective—of collective response. The work of the poem is accomplished in this collective aesthetic-ideological dialogue, and Shelley's singular challenge was one of establishing a place for such dialogue amidst the clamorous paranoid politics so evident in the periodical press.
White, Mary Gassaway. "Writers Among Friends: A Historical Study of Writing Groups." Ph.D. diss., U of Southwestern Louisiana, 1999, DAI, 60-04A (1999): 1117, 360 pages.
This dissertation examines the form and function of various "writing groups" including, among others, Coleridge and the Wordsworths, and Byron and the Shelleys. The emphasis is on rhetoric and composition theory.
Writing London: The Trace of the Urban Text from Blake to Dickens. New York: St. Martin's P, 1998.
An extended discussion of literary representations of the city with particular attention to the relationship between individual self and urban space. The book covers writers from Blake through Dickens and Engels; chapter two focuses on Byron, Shelley, and Barbauld.
Wu, Ya Feng. "The Spectre of Rousseau in Shelley's 'The Triumph of Life.'" Studies in Language and Literature [Taiwan] 106 (December 1998): 119-45.
Shelley's Fiction. Los Angeles: Darami Press, 1998.
Zimmerman contends—on rather slender stylistic evidence—that Percy Shelley was a more prolific novelist than has been heretofore acknowledged. In effect, she claims that Shelley wrote novels (including Frankenstein) and then gave them to his friends to help them become established as writers.
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