The Poems of John Keats

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Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978 - 769 páginas

Here at last is the definitive Keats--an edition of John Keats's poems that embodies the readings the poet himself most probably intended. The culmination of a tradition of literary and textual scholarship, it is the work of the one scholar best qualified to do the job.

Largely because of the wealth and complexity of the manuscript materials and the frequency with which first printings were based on inferior sources, there has never been a thoroughly reliable edition of Keats. Indeed, in The Texts of Keats's Poems Jack Stillinger demonstrated that fully one third of the poems as printed in current standard editions contain substantive errors. This edition is the first in the history of Keats scholarship to be based on a systematic investigation of the transmission of the texts. The readings given here represent in each case, as exactly as can be determined, the version that Keats preferred. The chronological arrangement of the poems and the full record of variants and manuscript alterations (presented in a style that will be clear to the general reader as well as useful to the scholar) display the development of Keats's poetic artistry. Notes at the back provide dates of composition, relate extant manuscripts and early printings, and explain the choices of texts.

The London Times said of Stillinger's earlier study of the texts: "Thanks to Mr. Stillinger a revolution in Keats studies is at hand." Here is the crucial step in that revolution.

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Contenido

Imitation of Spenser
27
To Hope
33
O come dearest Emma the rose is full blown
39
Derechos de autor

Otras 11 secciones no mostradas

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Términos y frases comunes

Acerca del autor (1978)

John Keats was born in London, the oldest of four children, on October 31, 1795. His father, who was a livery-stable keeper, died when Keats was eight years old, and his mother died six years later. At age 15, he was apprenticed to an apothecary-surgeon. In 1815 he began studying medicine but soon gave up that career in favor of writing poetry. The critic Douglas Bush has said that, if one poet could be recalled to life to complete his career, the almost universal choice would be Keats, who now is regarded as one of the three or four supreme masters of the English language. His early work is badly flawed in both technique and critical judgment, but, from his casually written but brilliant letters, one can trace the development of a genius who, through fierce determination in the face of great odds, fashioned himself into an incomparable artist. In his tragically brief career, cut short at age 25 by tuberculosis, Keats constantly experimented, often with dazzling success, and always with steady progress over previous efforts. The unfinished Hyperion is the only English poem after Paradise Lost that is worthy to be called an epic, and it is breathtakingly superior to his early Endymion (1818), written just a few years before. Isabella is a fine narrative poem, but The Eve of St. Agnes (1819), written soon after, is peerless. In Lamia (1819) Keats revived the couplet form, long thought to be dead, in a gorgeous, romantic story. Above all it was in his development of the ode that Keats's supreme achievement lies. In just a few months, he wrote the odes "On a Grecian Urn" (1819), "To a Nightingale" (1819), "To Melancholy" (1819), and the marvelously serene "To Autumn" (1819). Keats is the only romantic poet whose reputation has steadily grown through all changes in critical fashion. Once patronized as a poet of beautiful images but no intellectual content, Keats is now appreciated for his powerful mind, profound grasp of poetic principles, and ceaseless quest for new forms and techniques. For many readers, old and young, Keats is a heroic figure. John Keats died in Rome on February 23, 1821 and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome. His last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, "Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water.

Jack Stillinger is Professor of English and a permanent member of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois.

Jack Stillinger is Professor of English and a permanent member of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois.

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