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The Milton Controversy: 1900–1970

John Leonard

in Faithful Labourers: A Reception History of Paradise Lost, 1667-1970: Volume I: Style and Genre; Volume II: Interpretative Issues

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
May 2013
ISBN:
9780199666553
eISBN:
9780191748967
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666553.003.0003
Subject:
Literature, 17th-century and Restoration Literature

This chapter examines the twentieth-century attempt to ‘dislodge’ Milton. Leavis deplored Milton’s verse for its alleged ‘monotony’ and ‘ritual’, while Eliot complained that the poem had to be read ... More


An Honest Decade: William Empson and the Uses of Poetry

Benjamin Kohlmann

in Committed Styles: Modernism, Politics, and Left-Wing Literature in the 1930s

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
September 2014
ISBN:
9780198715467
eISBN:
9780191783197
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715467.003.0003
Subject:
Literature, 20th-century and Contemporary Literature, 20th-century Literature and Modernism

It is often claimed that Empson succeeded in maintaining a form of ‘mental equilibrium’ in the face of the ideological conflicts of the 1930s. Arguing against such claims, this chapter contends that ... More


Selves and Situations

Peter Robinson

in Twentieth Century Poetry: Selves and Situations

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
September 2007
ISBN:
9780199273256
eISBN:
9780191706370
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273256.003.0001
Subject:
Literature, 20th-century and Contemporary Literature

This chapter outlines aspects of the book's subject by considering the call by the philosopher Thomas Nagel to consider not ‘How should we live, whatever the circumstances?’ but ‘Under what ... More


The Combination Room

Anthony Ossa-Richardson

in A History of Ambiguity

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
January 2020
ISBN:
9780691167954
eISBN:
9780691188775
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:
10.23943/princeton/9780691167954.003.0010
Subject:
Literature, Criticism/Theory

This concluding chapter reviews William Empson's Seven Types of Ambiguity, a book about ambiguity in lyric poetry, but one that rejects the dominant concept in previous analyses of that subject, ... More


Talking to Mars: William Empson’s Astronomy Love Poems

Katy Price

in Loving Faster than Light: Romance and Readers in Einstein's Universe

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780226680736
eISBN:
9780226680750
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226680750.003.0007
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter examines the poems of William Empson related to astronomy and relativity theory. It explains that Empson's metaphysical love poems tested out the universe of Albert Einstein and Arthur ... More


The Intermodern Assumption of the Future: William Empson, Charles Madge and Mass-Observation

Nick Hubble

in Intermodernism: Literary Culture in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748635092
eISBN:
9780748651924
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635092.003.0010
Subject:
Literature, 20th-century Literature and Modernism

This chapter examines William Empson and the Mass-Observation movement, which it pinpoints as the most relevant expression of Empson's type of intermodernism. This is supported by Empson's ... More


Introduction by Way of William Empson's Buddha Faces

Sharon Cameron

in Impersonality: Seven Essays

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226091310
eISBN:
9780226091334
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226091334.003.0001
Subject:
Literature, Criticism/Theory

Writing on the “fantastic” slowness of the Noh theatre, William Empson, who had lived in Japan and China during the 1930s, noted the distinction between the “music of the Far East” and European ... More


Oppositional Principles

Geoffrey Hill

in Speaking to You: Contemporary Poetry and Public Address

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
September 2012
ISBN:
9780199657001
eISBN:
9780191742194
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657001.003.0008
Subject:
Literature, Poetry, 20th-century and Contemporary Literature

This chapter probes Hill's sense that a poet's fulfilment of his role is connected with the ability to engage appropriately with listeners: the right forms of address to the right addressees. It ... More


Introduction A Company of Two Armies

Anthony Ossa-Richardson

in A History of Ambiguity

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
January 2020
ISBN:
9780691167954
eISBN:
9780691188775
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:
10.23943/princeton/9780691167954.003.0012
Subject:
Literature, Criticism/Theory

This introductory chapter provides an overview of ambiguity. Doubt and plurality, or plenty, are the twin poles of ambiguity. In language, doubt and plenty are intimately joined in the act of ... More


Impersonality: Seven Essays

Sharon Cameron

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226091310
eISBN:
9780226091334
Item type:
book
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226091334.001.0001
Subject:
Literature, Criticism/Theory

Philosophers have long debated the subjects of person and personhood. This book ushers this debate into the literary realm by considering impersonality in the works of major American writers and ... More


Staircases, fires; bombs, milk, wombs, wax, hangmen, sleep, rabbits, stew; a Mars Bar, pinpoints; lovely peaches

Deborah Bowman

in Reading Dylan Thomas

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
September 2019
ISBN:
9781474411554
eISBN:
9781474459723
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411554.003.0004
Subject:
Literature, 20th-century Literature and Modernism

Dylan Thomas often described his writing process as one of putting-in: poems are ‘“watertight compartments”’; he was ‘tightly packing away everything I have and know into a mad-doctor’s bag’. To be ... More


not even invented

Deborah Bowman

in Poetry & the Dictionary

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
January 2021
ISBN:
9781789620566
eISBN:
9781789629989
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:
10.3828/liverpool/9781789620566.003.0006
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

William Empson was ambivalent about etymology; ‘we would often like an influence from past uses to survive in a word’, he wrote in 1977, ‘when it plainly doesn’t’. But he had always been preoccupied ... More


Rationalism, Christianity, and Ambiguity

Stefan Collini

in The Nostalgic Imagination: History in English Criticism

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
November 2018
ISBN:
9780198800170
eISBN:
9780191839986
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198800170.003.0005
Subject:
History, British and Irish Modern History, Cultural History

This chapter examines the work of William Empson, the critic normally assumed to be the least historical in his approach, especially his close attention to ‘the words on the page’. It shows how even ... More


Critics (I): William Empson and F. R. Leavis

Stefan Collini

in Common Writing: Essays on Literary Culture and Public Debate

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
May 2016
ISBN:
9780198758969
eISBN:
9780191818776
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198758969.003.0005
Subject:
History, Cultural History

Empson and Leavis were perhaps the two most influential academic literary critics in Britain between the 1930s and the 1960s. Close criticism of the verbal texture of literary works enjoyed ... More


William Empson, Ants and Aliens

Katy Price

in Science in Modern Poetry: New Directions

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
June 2013
ISBN:
9781846318092
eISBN:
9781846317743
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:
10.5949/UPO9781846317743.008
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

This chapter examines the poems of William Empson in an attempt to add knowledge to what poetry can do for science in culture, and vice versa. Empson took inspiration from the world of entomology and ... More


Literary Impressionism and Impressionist Autobiographies: Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Ford Madox Ford

Max Saunders

in Self Impression: Life-Writing, Autobiografiction, and the Forms of Modern Literature

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199579761
eISBN:
9780191722882
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579761.003.0007
Subject:
Literature, 19th-century Literature and Romanticism, 20th-century Literature and Modernism

This shorter chapter is really a coda to the first half of the book, arguing that an alternative contemporary response to the disturbance in life‐writing is represented by the impressionist ... More


Joyce and the British Avant-Garde

Eleni Loukopoulou

in Up to Maughty London: Joyce's Cultural Capital in the Imperial Metropolis

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
September 2017
ISBN:
9780813062242
eISBN:
9780813051932
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:
10.5744/florida/9780813062242.003.0006
Subject:
Literature, 20th-century Literature and Modernism

“James Joyce and the British Avant-Garde” focuses on Joyce’s interaction with Cambridge’s intellectual milieu, where new experiments in literature were forcefully debated in the magazine Experiment ... More


On First Looking

in Poetry & Translation: The Art of the Impossible

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
June 2013
ISBN:
9781846312182
eISBN:
9781846315534
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:
10.5949/UPO9781846315534.002
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

This chapter examines John Keats' poem On First Looking into Chapman's Homer which was a response to George Chapman's translation of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. It suggests that while the poem ... More


The Human Animal: Biological Tropes in Interwar Poetry

Tim Armstrong

in Science in Modern Poetry: New Directions

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
June 2013
ISBN:
9781846318092
eISBN:
9781846317743
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:
10.5949/UPO9781846317743.007
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

This chapter discusses how the major advances in endocrinology, entomology and evolutionary biology during the interwar years of the early 1900s influenced the works of the English poets, Herbert ... More


Introduction

Jayne Elizabeth Lewis

in Air’s Appearance: Literary Atmosphere in British Fiction, 1660–1794

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780226476698
eISBN:
9780226476711
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226476711.003.0001
Subject:
Literature, 18th-century Literature

When a literary work is said to have a certain “atmosphere” about it, it is possible to link this experience to the founding of the Royal Society in 1660, where air became visible as an object of ... More


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