Presentation on theme: "BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA. COLERIDGE’S LIFE & WORKS Coleridge’s popularity is known as the great poet of super naturalism. He was also a great critic. After."— Presentation transcript:
COLERIDGE’S LIFE & WORKS Coleridge’s popularity is known as the great poet of super naturalism. He was also a great critic. After his father’s death in 1781 he obtained a preferment to Christ's hospital, a school for poor children in London. Therefore some time Coleridge shook his mental lethargy and became active and energetic. He was full of plans for his future life,ranging from the profession of a cobbler,on the second he wanted to be a physician and on the third he was seen reciting Homer and Pindar.
In 1974 Coleridge went to Cambridge where he remained till 1794.He became a leader of young enthusiast who were devoted more to wine them to the pursuit of knowledge. He ran from Cambridge to join the army but soon realized his mistake and returned to human and gave it the high sounding name of “Pantisocracy”. His idea was to settle with such friends,as approved of his scheme,in the backwoods of America Southey enthusiastically participated in his scheme But this scheme could not materialize owing to the practical difficulties that Coleridge has not forseen.
In 1797 Coleridge met Wordsworth and that was the beginning of their life long friendship. The influence of Wordsworth helped to mature his poetry in genius. Equally happy was the influence of his sister Dorthy on his poetic imagination. She was greatly struck by his genius and his attractive personality.
In 1795 Coleridge married Sara Fricker,but his marriage did not prove to be a happy one.For he and his wife were temperamentally unsuited to each other. About the time Coleridge entered Unitarian Ministry.Those who heard him preach were charmed by his eloquence and exposition. The subtlety of his mind the force of his arguments. Coleridges’ religious opinion underwent a change and in 1807 he declared that he had become a trinitarian.Perhaps the change in his religious opinion was brought about by his study of German philosophy.If we examine the development of his thought,we find in it a gradual change from revolutionary zeal to conservation.
In 1798 the first edition of Lyrical Ballads was published.It brought fame to both friends but early in the next century Coleridge fell ill and suffered from severe physical pain to alleviate which he began to take opium. Continious use of opium caused melancholy and depression.
When his fits of depression were over his intellectual and imaginative powers became once again active for sometime,but he couldnot apply himself steadilt to any work.His friends persuaded him to start a course of lectures in London,which inspite of his bad health proved a tremendous success.
Coleridges failing health created for him financial difficulties which grew from bad to worse.He started taking opium in large quantities. His days of literary activities were over,and during the last ten years of his life they were known only for his brilliant talk.his friends gathered around to hear his original and marvelously brilliant ideas on every conceivable topic on earth.Some of the greates celebrities like Emerson and Carlyle,visited him.
In the summer of 1834,Coleridge felt that he was dying.On the evening before his death he began to dictate his religious views to a friend.Suddenly his voice became inaudible and he fell into a state of unconsciousness' few hours after he passed away
The earlier poems of Coleridge are songs of the pixies The lines of an Autumnal evening(1794). Lewti(1794) Religious Musing( ) In these poems we find a spiritual interpretation of the universe coupled with a rich yet dedicate appreciation of the physical world.
The second and maturer period of poetic career begins with his intimacy with Wordsworth and his sister Dorthy the fruits of his intimacy are (i)Ode to the departing year (ii)Ode to France (iii)The lime tree bower. (iv)Frost at midnight. (v)Fears in solitude The full flowering of his genius came in with (i) the ancient Mariner (ii) Cristobel( ) (iii)Kublai Khan(1798) After Cristobel there is a perceptible decline in poetic vigour but can be seen in one or two pieces like “Ode to dejection” and ”Love’s first hope”
Coleridges prose work consist mostly of fragments but those fragments are enough to reveal his critical and argumentative power which were of the highest order.He did valuable work in his literary criticism maintaining that the true end of poetry was to give pleasure through the medium of beauty.
COLERIDGE AS A CRITIC Coleridge was a great critic of English literature as his name is mentioned alongside with Aristotle and Longinus. Biographia Literaria the greatest book of criticism in English.Since then,inspite of occasional demurrers Coleridge’s stature atleast in the English speaking world has even grown greater. Coleridge the founder of the voluntaristic form of idealistic philosophy of which he remains to this day the most distinguished representative.
Critics have calimed that Colridges step across the threshold of a general theoretical study of language of the same type as that which take Gallelio into the modern world. Coleridge’s head and shoulder above every other english critic and is seen as an anticipating existentialism and Freud. Most recent American literary critics endorse Coleridge’s principle of the reconciliation of the opposites,his definition of the imagination,the idea of organic whole,and his distinction between symbol and allegory.
Coleridge’s achievement as a critic is rightly held to be supreme among the English critics.Though the criticism he has given is full of diversity,yet his main objective through out is not analysis, but a theoretical certainty to reduce criticism to a system by the deduction of causes from principles involved in our faculties.
The purpose of criticism is to establish the principles of writing rather than to furnish rules as to how to pass judgment what has been written by others. In actual practice, he analyzes not so much poems as they exist but the creative act that makes them what they are. For him, only a theory of poetic creation matters.
Unlike Johnson, Coleridge is essentially a critic who practices descriptive criticism only as an illustration. His analysis of Wordsworth poems and his lectures on Shakespeare and Ulterior, theoretical purpose. In this he differs mainly from Drydon and Johnson who are descriptive critics.
From Dryden to the modern times descriptive criticism has been in vogue in England.Coleridge who is primarily theoretical critic,represents a regression in the history of descriptive criticism in English.It was rather an interruption in the otherwise regular course of descriptive critics and it did not have any following.
There is no school of Coleridge among the English critics.The critical theory of profounded was too generalized and too occult to help others to become great critics. The Victorians could not understand him and his appeal was confined to the few.It is in the 20 th century that the influence of Coleridge has been felt to a great extent. He is the whole movement of passionate curiousity to explore the depths of creative art of which he is the first and the last representative.
It is difficult to summarize, in historical terms,the achievement of a critic whose influence has been delayed and as dubious as that of Coleridge. His overriding interest in the creative process was one which the later critics of the 19 th century did not share. Coleridge’s system of aesthetic could not appeal to a generation of Victorians to whom no system of aesthetics was of much interest.
As a descriptive critic his achievement is brilliant but sporadic and offers no single example worthy to be advanced as a model.If his criticism survives, as it vigrously does, it is not by virtue of what it demonstrates but why what it abundantly suggests, for no English critic has excelled at providing profitable points of departure for 20 th century critics.
Perhaps there is something about a professional pundit who had so little to say that was comprehensible to his own centuries but a hundred years later,his manuscripts are seen among the richest of our capital assets. They are the relics of a mind passionately in love with free inquiry concentrated and disciplined in its determination to decipher the secrets of poetic discourse.
BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA It is the literary biography of a writer who was very talkative,discussing this and that all the time. Sometimes we have a discussion of philospohy,ethics theology, psychology. After Aristotle poetics,the most important and thought provoking book in Europe. It cannot be denied that proved to be most inflential but confusing as well. Its curious structure largerly critical in the second maybe accidental or maybe the result of a hasty decision. It has the merit of balancing the two great interest of his career philosophy and poetry. The structure of the book could not have been a great success,if only the connection had been well and truly made between the two sections.
It is so discursive and sporadic in its argument as almost to merit its subtitle”Biographial sketches". It is surprising that the commentators while they failed to agree on what Coleridge actually said are really all agreed that it is of first importance. The reason is that it is not only a most revealing description of his relations with Wordsworth it is also an extremely penetrating exposition of the romantic ideals of art and life. The spiritual autobiography to be ranked among the world’s greatest literature.