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Edward Lear and the Play of Poetry - James Williams

Edward Lear and the Play of Poetry

By: James Williams (Editor), Matthew Bevis (Editor)

Paperback Published: 30th May 2019
ISBN: 9780198833796
Number Of Pages: 416

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Of all the Victorian poets, Edward Lear has a good claim to the widest audience: admired and championed by critics and poets from John Ruskin to John Ashbery, he has also been read, heard, and loved by generations of children. As a central figure in the literature of nonsense, Lear has also shaped the evolution of modern literature, and his work continues to influence and inspire writers and readers today. This collection of essays-the first ever devoted solely to Lear-builds on a recent resurgence of critical interest and asks how it is that the play of Lear's poetry continues to delight, and to challenge our sense of what poetry can be. These seventeen chapters, written by established and emerging critics of poetry, seek to explore and appreciate the playfulness embodied in the poems, and to provide contexts in which it can be better understood and enjoyed. They consider how Lear's poems play off various inheritances (the literary fool, Romantic lyric, his religious upbringing), explore particular forms in which his playful genius took flight (his letters, his queer writings about love), and trace lines of Learical influence and inheritance by showing how other poets and thinkers across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries played off Lear in their turn (Joyce, Stein, Eliot, Auden, Smith, Ashbery, and others).

Industry Reviews

The Play of Poetry sounds like a deference to the particular kind of responsibility that belongs to good art and artists. It does justice to an artist properly good, not improperly great: illuminating a writer as responsibly irresponsible as the surprising last lines of his limericks. * Barbara Everett, Times Literary Supplement *
a fresh way to read a supposedly minor poet...I should add that in an era when publishers are cutting corners, this is a particularly pleasing edition, a sturdy volume with good quality paper. * Talia Schaffer, SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 *
Edward Lear and The Play of Poetry [...] feels like it has been gifted to us. [T]he collection revels in the inexplicable mysteriousness of Lear the man, along with his art and the often contradictory emotions it elicits [...] an invitation to wonder. * Joseph Jordan *
Clever and vivacious essays * Andrew Motion, Hopkins Review *
An admirable new collection ... Rarely does a collection of essays published by an academic press carry such emotional nuance, or tune it to the requirements of literary analysis so deftly and consistently ... This collection will swiftly become one of the first ports of call for Lear scholars, but some of its essays deserve to be read by anyone with an interest in the ways we might "turn to poetry to interpret life for us, to console us, to sustain us", as Matthew Arnold put it. * Ben Westwood, Times Literary Supplement *
[An] excellent volume ... If Edward Lear and the Play of Poetry is any guide to what is to come, the future for Lear studies looks bright indeed. Its contributors show it to be possible to write successfully about his nonsense in diverse ways. ... Arriving at a moment when Lears critical fortunes appear to be on the rise, it will be an essential point of reference. * Martin Dubois, Review of English Studies *
Almost every page contained pleasurable surprises. * Paris Review *

James Williams and Matthew Bevis: Introduction: Edward Lear and the Play of Poetry 1: James Williams: Lear and the Fool 2: Michael O'Neill: 'One of the Dumms': Edward Lear and Romanticism 3: Sara Lodge: Edward Lear and Dissent 4: Peter Swaab: 'Some Think Him ... Queer': Loners and Love in Edward Lear 5: Peter Robinson: Edward Lear: Celebrity Chef 6: Matthew Bevis: Falling for Edward Lear 7: Daniel Brown: Being and Naughtiness 8: Anna Henchman: Fragments Out of Place: Homology and the Logic of Nonsense in Edward Lear 9: Daniel Karlin: 'The Owl and the Pussy-Cat', and other Poems of Love and Marriage 10: Hugh Haughton: Playing with Letters: Lear's Episthilarity 11: Anna Barton: The Sense and Nonsense of Weariness: Edward Lear and Gertrude Stein read Tennyson 12: Anne Stillman: T. S. Eliot Plays Edward Lear 13: Adam Piette: 'Now Listen, Mr Leer!': Joyce's Lear 14: Seamus Perry: Auden's Lear 15: Will May: Drawing Away from Lear: Stevie Smith's Deceitful Echo 16: Adam Phillips: Edward Lear's Contribution to British Psychoanalysis 17: Stephen Ross: Edward Lear, John Ashbery, and the Pleasant Surprise Select Bibliography Index

ISBN: 9780198833796
ISBN-10: 0198833792
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 30th May 2019
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.69

Earn 154 Qantas Points
on this Book