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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2007

E 392M • Blake and Coleridge

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
0 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
MEZ 1.118

Course Description

This course seeks to understand Blake's and Coleridge's different concepts of change and agency by exploring their religious beliefs and their different methods of using symbolism and allegory. Broadly viewed, Blake's millennial vision contrasts sharply with Coleridge's liberal, Whiggish idea of history. Examined more closely, the two men's positions criss-cross in important ways, revealing contradictions and tensions in their thought.

A continuing concern of the course will be both poets' struggles to give narrative shape to that strange series of twists and reversals that constituted the French Revolution and its Napoleonic aftermath. Another theme will be the two men's different critiques of Lockean psychology and metaphysics, and their complicated relation to the Locke-derived political radicalism of the 1790s. 0ther areas to be investigated include the development of their religious beliefs within the contexts both of late 18th-century Rational Dissent and the revival of Enthusiastic religion; and also the different ideas of prophecy and revelation, and of culture and representation, that their writings conveys.



  • BLAKE: Mainly Songs of Innocence and of Experience, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Visions of the Daughters of Albion, Milton, and Jerusalem.
  • COLERIDGE: mainly "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "Christabel," the several "conversation" poems, the Essay on Method, and Biographia Litereria.
  • WORDSWORTH: Preface to Lyrical Ballads and several shorter poems.
  • Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, ed. David Erdman, 3rd ed. (Doubleday)
  • David Erdman, Blake: Prophet Against Empire, 3rd ed. (Doubleday, 1982; rpt. Dover Press)
  • Coleridge (Oxford Authors Edition), ed. J. R. Jackson
  • Selected Poems of Wordsworth, ed. Jack Stillinger (Houghton)
  • Marilyn Butler, Romantics, Rebels, and Reactionaries (Oxford)
There will be a packet of xeroxed materials to be bought at Jenn's Copy at 2200 Guadelupe, lower level: additional Romantic-period materials and some recent criticism.


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