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Old 04-17-2001, 04:46 PM
Esther Cameron Esther Cameron is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 240

Hello, all,

I just checked The Antigonish Review's new website -- tthey have my essay "Shelley's 'Defence' Today," which appeared there last fall, posted in toto.

I hope you'll check it out. Shelley's 'Defence' is mainly known for its final tag -- "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world" -- but it offers an analysis of poetic thinking and the poet's function that is still cogent. I wrote the essay after reading the 'Defence' for the first imte a year and a half ago and being astonished at how many of its conclusions I'd come to by other routes.

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Old 04-19-2001, 01:53 PM
ChrisW ChrisW is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,651

Interesting article, Esther! Thanks for posting this notice. I was particularly intrigued by the parts on imagination vs. reason/analysis and poetry-as-conversation. Your internet idea would be great-- for those who (unlike me) didn't need much help.
I'm inclined not to take sides in the reason vs. imagination dispute. Without imagination, we can't *feel* our knowledge, but without analysis, we're likely to have prejudice instead of knowledge. (Sorry if that remark is beside the point -- 'fraid I just read the article on my lunch hour.)


PS Wanted to add that I just saw a new book by Christopher Hitchens called _Unacknowledged Legislation: writers in the public sphere_ today. He begins, naturally by mentioning the Defence.

[This message has been edited by ChrisW (edited April 20, 2001).]
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Old 05-05-2001, 10:23 AM
George Tolis George Tolis is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 3

Hi Esther,

I have managed to get through about half the essay so far in depth, (but without a printer it's not the easiest thing to read off a screen). From what I can tell, you've completely ignored Thomas Love Peacock's "Four Ages of Poetry".

Most people read Shelley's Defence as a "stand alone" essay, mainly because his editors decided to chop out the direct references to Peacock when Shelley died without completing the work. Unfortunately, most of what Shelley argues is a direct response to the Four Ages.

Still, it's fascinating to be re-absorbed into Shelley's thought processes, line by line. From your reading, it seems he is preempting a lot of 19th/20th C. philosophy along the way.


George Tolis.
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