By Richard Bradford
This introductory ebook takes the reader via literary heritage from the Renaissance to Postmodernism, and considers person texts as paradigms which could either mirror and unsettle their broader linguistic and cultural contexts. Richard Bradford presents exact readings of person texts which emphasize their relation to literary background and broader socio-cultural contexts, and which take into consideration advancements in structuralism and postmodernism. Texts comprise poems by way of Donne, Herbert, Marvell, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Keats, Hopkins, Browning, Pound, Eliot, Carlos Williams, Auden, Larkin and Geoffrey Hill.
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Extra info for A Linguistic History of English Poetry (Interface)
Hence intertextuality can never remain immune for the historical context of a particular poem. To give another example, it is possible to fully document the structural differences between the regular eighteenth-century closed couplet of Pope and its more irregular uses by early-seventeenth-century poets, but such details are virtually useless without our consideration of how the status and function of poetic writing in society and in relation to non-poetic discourses underwent a radical change between the 1620s and the 1720s.
The distinction between blank verse and prose mirrors the distinction between the social patterns and the behavioural patterns of the characters. Isabella, Angelo, Claudio and the Duke communicate with one another and conduct their own introspective discourses mainly, though not entirely, in blank verse. Pompey, Mistress Overdone, Elbow, Lucio and Froth communicate mostly in prose—and do not generally reflect upon their own condition. When individuals from these two groups, representing the upper and lower ends of the social scale, communicate with one another, it is generally the case that the latter will shift into prose while the former will seem either incapable or unwilling to use blank verse.
The prose sequences are driven by external context and to a large extent their signifying function depends upon the reader’s understanding of this broader contextual meaning. The verse sequences are similarly prompted by circumstantial conditions but they also draw upon a much more elaborate pattern of signification. They create patterns of correspondence between the personal and immediate situation and broader abstract and universal themes that the speaker feels able to use either as strategies of persuasion or consolation.
A Linguistic History of English Poetry (Interface) by Richard Bradford