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Tennyson

Tennyson 346 / VICTORIAN POETRY LINDA K. HUGHES Tennyson's relation to aestheticism, public politics, and twentiethcentury literature were lively sites of investigation in 2001. I begin with aestheticism since that enables me to discuss the most important essay of the year, Angela Leighton's "Touching Forms: Tennyson and Aestheticism," in the TRB (7, no. 5: 223-238; reprinted in EIC 52, no. 1 [January 2002]: 56-75). Leighton's essay is wide-ranging, its prose luminous--an aesthetic pleasure in itself. Tennyson, she argues, explored the elusive, even reversible relation between soul and body that was so important to Pater and Wilde at the fin de siècle, a proposition that involves abstract immateriality versus sensuous palpability in Tennyson's form, language, philosophy, and theology. As have Alan Sinfield, Herbert Tucker, and Erik Gray, she undertakes close readings of Tennyson's diction, tracing its sinuous shifts and implications; like Christopher Ricks and Matthew Campbell, she investigates recurring words, rhythms, and associations (as with the sudden flash that so pervades his work); drawing on the prior scholarship of Donald Hair and Isobel Armstrong, she returns to the Victorian materialist-idealist debates about language; and like James Hood (in Divining Desire, 2000) she reconsiders relations between the transcendent and carnal in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Victorian Poetry West Virginia University Press

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
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Copyright © 2002 West Virginia University.
ISSN
1530-7190
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Abstract

346 / VICTORIAN POETRY LINDA K. HUGHES Tennyson's relation to aestheticism, public politics, and twentiethcentury literature were lively sites of investigation in 2001. I begin with aestheticism since that enables me to discuss the most important essay of the year, Angela Leighton's "Touching Forms: Tennyson and Aestheticism," in the TRB (7, no. 5: 223-238; reprinted in EIC 52, no. 1 [January 2002]: 56-75). Leighton's essay is wide-ranging, its prose luminous--an aesthetic pleasure in itself. Tennyson, she argues, explored the elusive, even reversible relation between soul and body that was so important to Pater and Wilde at the fin de siècle, a proposition that involves abstract immateriality versus sensuous palpability in Tennyson's form, language, philosophy, and theology. As have Alan Sinfield, Herbert Tucker, and Erik Gray, she undertakes close readings of Tennyson's diction, tracing its sinuous shifts and implications; like Christopher Ricks and Matthew Campbell, she investigates recurring words, rhythms, and associations (as with the sudden flash that so pervades his work); drawing on the prior scholarship of Donald Hair and Isobel Armstrong, she returns to the Victorian materialist-idealist debates about language; and like James Hood (in Divining Desire, 2000) she reconsiders relations between the transcendent and carnal in

Journal

Victorian PoetryWest Virginia University Press

Published: Jan 10, 2002

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