The Child's Perspective Hardy, Joyce, and the Redefinition of Childlike Romantic Sensibilities GALIA BENZIMAN Early twentieth-century writers often felt the need to emphasize their radical break with the Romantic and Victorian eras. Their declared antagonism to substantial chunks of nineteenth-century literature has led critics to regard Romanticism and Modernism as antithetical modes. T. S. Eliot famously disparaged ``the popular and pretentious verse of the Romantic Poets and their successors,''1 while Ezra Pound dismissed William Wordsworth as a ``silly old sheep with a genius'' whose talent was ``buried in a desert of bleatings.''2 Similarly, James Joyce once explained in a conversation that ``Romanticism was closely associated with a kind of false and evasive idealism which is the ruin of man.''3 Joyce's own style and narrative technique, often regarded as a revolution against the literary conventions of the previous century, led Eliot to tell Virginia Woolf in 1922 that Joyce had admirably ``destroyed the whole of the nineteenth century.''4 The undeniable Modernist resistance to the Romantic tradition, however, should not blind us to the existence of certain aesthetic and ideological continuities between Romantic and Modernist sensibilities, forms, and devices. Several critics, among them Herbert F. Tucker, Robert Langbaum, Hermione de
Joyce Studies Annual – Fordham University Press
Published: Dec 12, 2013
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