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Biographia Literaria

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BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA ***

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BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I Motives to the present work--Reception of the Author's first publication--Discipline of his taste at school--Effect of contemporary writers on youthful minds--Bowles's Sonnets- Comparison between the poets before and since

II Supposed irritability of genius brought to the test of facts--Causes and occasions of the charge--Its injustice

III The Author's obligations to Critics, and the probable occasion--Principles of modern criticism--Mr. Southey's works and character

IV The Lyrical Ballads with the Preface--Mr. Wordsworth's earlier poems--On Fancy and Imagination--The investigation of the distinction important to the Fine Arts

V On the law of Association--Its history traced from Aristotle to Hartley

VI That Hartley's system, as far as it differs from that of Aristotle, is neither tenable in theory, nor founded in facts

VII Of the necessary consequences of the Hartleian Theory--Of the original mistake or equivocation which procured its admission--Memoria technica

VIII The system of Dualism introduced by Des Cartes--Refined first by Spinoza and afterwards by Leibnitz into the doctrine of Harmonia praestabilita--Hylozoism--Materialism --None of these systems, or any possible theory of Association, supplies or supersedes a theory of Perception, or explains the formation of the Associable

XI Is Philosophy possible as a science, and what are its conditions?--Giordano Bruno--Literary Aristocracy, or the existence of a tacit compact among the learned as a privileged order--The Author's obligations to the Mystics- To Immanuel Kant--The difference between the letter and The spirit of Kant's writings, and a vindication of Prudence in the teaching of Philosophy--Fichte's attempt to complete the Critical system-Its partial success and ultimate failure--Obligations to Schelling; and among English writers to Saumarez

X A Chapter of digression and anecdotes, as an interlude preceding that on the nature and genesis of the Imagination or Plastic Power--On Pedantry and pedantic expressions-- Advice to young authors respecting publication--Various anecdotes of the Author's literary life, and the progress of his opinions in Religion and Politics

XI An affectionate exhortation to those who in early life feel themselves disposed to become authors

XII A Chapter of requests and premonitions concerning the perusal or omission of the chapter that follows

XIII On the Imagination, or Esemplastic power

XIV Occasion of the Lyrical Ballads, and the objects originally proposed--Preface to the second edition--The ensuing controversy, its causes and acrimony--Philosophic definitions of a Poem and Poetry with scholia

XV The specific symptoms of poetic power elucidated in a Critical analysis of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis, and Rape of Lucrece

XVI Striking points of difference between the Poets of the present age and those of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries--Wish expressed for the union of the characteristic merits of both

XVII Examination of the tenets peculiar to Mr. Wordsworth-- Rustic life (above all, low and rustic life) especially unfavourable to the formation of a human diction-The best parts of language the product of philosophers, not of clowns or shepherds--Poetry essentially ideal and generic-- The language of Milton as much the language of real life, yea, incomparably more so than that of the cottager

XVIII Language of metrical composition, why and wherein essentially different from that of prose--Origin and elements of metre --Its necessary consequences, and the conditions thereby imposed on the metrical writer in the choice of his diction

XIX Continuation--Concerning the real object, which, it is probable, Mr. Wordsworth had before him in his critical preface--Elucidation and application of this

XX The former subject continued--The neutral style, or that common to Prose and Poetry, exemplified by specimens from Chaucer, Herbert, and others

XXI Remarks on the present mode of conducting critical journals

XXII The characteristic defects of Wordsworth's poetry, with the principles from which the judgment, that they are defects, is deduced--Their proportion to the beauties--For the greatest part characteristic of his theory only

SATYRANE'S LETTERS

XXIII Critique on Bertram

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