Swinburne and His Gods

Swinburne and His Gods

The Roots and Growth of An Agnostic Poetry

eBook - 1990
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In this richly detailed study, Margot Louis combines close readings of Swinburne's poetry with a wide-ranging analysis of the pressures which influenced the poet. Louis not only examines the ways in which Swinburne was affected by English and French Romantics but comments on the powerful impact on his writing of a childhood steeped in high church theology. Swinburne's ideas of alternative concepts of deity are discussed within the context of nineteenth-century radical "free thought." Louis reflects on the depth and diversity of Swinburne's intellectual interests and their effect on the development of his poetic style.

Swinburne and His Gods is the first serious critical analysis to examine the poet's background in the high church in the context of his work. Louis clearly shows Swinburne's fierce and intimate hostility toward the church and reveals his particular irritation with the doctrines of Newman, Keble, and Trench. In her explanation of his poetic use of sacramental imagery, especially those images connected with the Last Supper, Louis shows how Swinburne's eucharists can be murderous or erotic, aesthetic or republican. The demonic parody that characterizes Swinburne's work is shown to have developed through experimentation with neo-romantic alternatives to Christianity: first through the evocation of a quasi-sadistic pessimism, then in the embodiment of the "sun-god of Art," and, finally, as a feeble gesture toward an unknowable deity which moves elusively both within and beyond the natural world. Rather than imposing artificial unity on the poet's career, Louis presents his work as an integrated series of serious and brilliant experiments in Romantic art.


McGill Queens Univ Pr
In this richly detailed study, Margot Louis combines close readings of Swinburne's poetry with a wide-ranging analysis of the pressures which influenced the poet. Louis not only examines the ways in which Swinburne was affected by English and French Romantics but comments on the powerful impact on his writing of a childhood steeped in high church theology. Swinburne's ideas of alternative concepts of deity are discussed within the context of nineteenth-century radical "free thought." Louis reflects on the depth and diversity of Swinburne's intellectual interests and their effect on the development of his poetic style.

Swinburne and His Gods is the first serious critical analysis to examine the poet's background in the high church in the context of his work. Louis clearly shows Swinburne's fierce and intimate hostility toward the church and reveals his particular irritation with the doctrines of Newman, Keble, and Trench. In her explanation of his poetic use of sacramental imagery, especially those images connected with the Last Supper, Louis shows how Swinburne's eucharists can be murderous or erotic, aesthetic or republican. The demonic parody that characterizes Swinburne's work is shown to have developed through experimentation with neo-romantic alternatives to Christianity: first through the evocation of a quasi-sadistic pessimism, then in the embodiment of the "sun-god of Art," and, finally, as a feeble gesture toward an unknowable deity which moves elusively both within and beyond the natural world. Rather than imposing artificial unity on the poet's career, Louis presents his work as an integrated series of serious and brilliant experiments in Romantic art.

In this richly detailed study, Margot Louis combines close readings of Swinburne's poetry with a wide-ranging analysis of the pressures which influenced the poet. Louis not only examines the ways in which Swinburne was affected by English and French Romantics but comments on the powerful impact on his writing of a childhood steeped in high church theology. Swinburne's ideas of alternative concepts of deity are discussed within the context of nineteenth-century radical "free thought." Louis reflects on the depth and diversity of Swinburne's intellectual interests and their effect on the development of his poetic style.
Swinburne and His Gods is the first serious critical analysis to examine the poet's background in the high church in the context of his work. Louis clearly shows Swinburne's fierce and intimate hostility toward the church and reveals his particular irritation with the doctrines of Newman, Keble, and Trench. In her explanation of his poetic use of sacramental imagery, especially those images connected with the Last Supper, Louis shows how Swinburne's eucharists can be murderous or erotic, aesthetic or republican. The demonic parody that characterizes Swinburne's work is shown to have developed through experimentation with neo-romantic alternatives to Christianity: first through the evocation of a quasi-sadistic pessimism, then in the embodiment of the "sun-god of Art," and, finally, as a feeble gesture toward an unknowable deity which moves elusively both within and beyond the natural world. Rather than imposing artificial unity on the poet's career, Louis presents his work as an integrated series of serious and brilliant experiments in Romantic art.

Publisher: Montreal [Que.] : McGill-Queen's University Press, 1990
ISBN: 9780773562141
0773562141
9780773507159
0773507159
Characteristics: data file,rda
1 online resource (242 pages)

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