Clairvoyant Wordsworth: A Case Study in Heresy and Critical Prejudice

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iUniverse, 2002 M04 1 - 196 páginas
It is almost universally accepted that William Wordsworth never took seriously the idea of pre-existence, or life before birth. In this study, Robert Zimmer shows that this is an unjustifiable presumption. Evidence from Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood," from The Prelude, and from the "Essay Upon Epitaphs" shows that Wordsworth firmly believed in pre-existence. Nor was this an idea he adopted out of curiosity or for its poetic utility. Wordsworth, like Henry Vaughan and Thomas Traherne, remembered life before birth, and retained a kind of clairvoyance in his infancy. As Zimmer shows, it is only because of the religious and philosophical prejudices of critics since Coleridge that Wordsworth's recollections have seldom been properly recognized for what they are.

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