Elegy (The New Critical Idiom) - download pdf or read online

By David Kennedy

ISBN-10: 0203019997

ISBN-13: 9780203019993

ISBN-10: 041536776X

ISBN-13: 9780415367769

Grief and mourning are as a rule thought of to be inner most, but common instincts. yet in a media age of televised funerals and visual bereavement, elegies are more and more major and open to public scrutiny. offering an outline of the historical past of the time period and the various ways that it truly is used, David Kennedy:

  • outlines the origins of elegy, and the features of the genre
  • examines the psychology and cultural historical past underlying works of mourning
  • explores how the fashionable elegy has developed, and the way it differs from ‘canonical elegy’, additionally taking a look at girl elegists and feminist readings
  • considers the elegy within the gentle of writing through theorists resembling Jacques Derrida and Catherine Waldby
  • looks on the elegy in modern writing, and especially at the way it has emerged and been tailored as a reaction to terrorist assaults equivalent to 9/11.

Emphasising and explaining the importance of elegy this day, this illuminating consultant to an emotive literary style could be of curiosity to scholars of literature, media and culture.

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Example text

Second, W. H. Auden’s elegy for Yeats uses its subject’s poetry against his actual poetics and politics. Finally, Matthew Arnold’s ‘Thyrsis’ is, like Shelley’s ‘Adonais’, a contrast of its author’s strength of character with its subject’s weaknesses. The ending of ‘Thyrsis’ also raises the question of inheritance. Thyrsis’s words make clear that the quest is now being passed on to the surviving poet. The elegy has been a kind of test in which he what was elegy? has shown himself worthy of the task: it has earned him the right to imagine hearing Thyrsis’s voice.

The grief-as-exposure that we saw in Matthew Arnold is present in the way that several of Heaney’s poems end out of 21 22 what was elegy? doors in the chill of dawn or in an open boat. Imagery of drink and bread in several of Heaney’s poems also underlines that elegy is only a temporary transubstantiation. Elegy, which appears to be and has often been treated critically as monumental, is in fact made occasional. Three of Heaney’s elegies, ‘A Postcard from North Antrim’, ‘Casualty’ and ‘In Memoriam Sean O’Riada’, emphasize this further by resurrecting their subjects in repeatable situations: a party, a fishing trip and a concert (Heaney 1979: 19–20, 21, 29–30).

One of the most extravagant examples of such expenditure is Shelley’s ‘Adonais’ with its compulsive returns to tears and weeping. The repetitions of elegy such as the recurrence of the word ‘gone’ throughout Matthew Arnold’s ‘Thyrsis’ are another example of expenditure. The monetary imagery identified by Lilley is also explicit at the beginning of Tennyson’s ‘In Memoriam’: I held it truth [ . . ] [ ... ] That men may rise on stepping-stones Of their dead selves to higher things. 23 24 what was elegy?

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Elegy (The New Critical Idiom) by David Kennedy

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