By G. Leadbetter
Via politics, faith and his dating with Wordsworth, the booklet builds to a brand new interpretation of the poems the place Coleridge's daemonic mind's eye produces its myths: the traditional Mariner, Kubla Khan and Christabel . Re-reading the origins of Romanticism, Leadbetter unearths a Coleridge right away extra customary and more bizarre.
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Extra info for Coleridge and the Daemonic Imagination
First, I show that the provisional psychology that he produced, scattered unsystematically through figurative, observational, and theoretical language, is identical in structure with the enabling will described in chapter 1, in which the will becomes the means of exposing the self to forces beyond its deliberate control.
An xy that God did not realize in himself” (CM I 693–94). As shown above, Coleridge located such apprehensions—“a darkness felt in the day-light” (SWF I 695)—at the source of his own spirituality. In his later writings, Coleridge would defend both Boehme and Gnosticism on similar grounds. 23 Coleridge’s developing thinking on “superstition” provides a final illustration of both his widening gulf with Unitarian orthodoxy and the new direction of his writing. In his lectures of 1795, superstition was a by-word for “idolatry” that “disposed the mind to imbecility and unmanly Terrors” (LPR 145).
Alluding to her own poem of 1773, “The Hill of Science, A Vision,” Barbauld 26 Col er idge a n d t h e Da emon ic I m aginat ion sees Coleridge in “the maze of metaphysic lore,” where “Dreams hang on every leaf; unearthly forms / Glide thro’ the gloom, and mystic visions swim / Before the cheated sense”; “huge shadows stretch / And seem realities,” while “things of life, / . . Fade to the hue of shadows” (Barbauld 142–43). Again, metaphysics is named as the threat. Stabler, however, points out that both Barbauld and Coleridge took “a transgressive pleasure in their tendency to ‘wander’ or ‘soar,’ ” and while acknowledging Barbauld’s pious “reining in of speculation,” sees the poem to Coleridge not as a rejection of metaphysics in itself, but as a warning against “Indolence wearing the garb of deep philosophy” (Stabler 197, 195, 201).