Keats and the Historical Method in Literary Criticism

Jerome J. McGann

in The Beauty of Inflections

Published in print August 1988 | ISBN: 9780198117506
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191670961 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Keats and the Historical Method in Literary Criticism

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This chapter illustrates the tactical procedures which typify an historical approach, as well as the way historical information tends to open up new dimensions for a more comprehensive and precise critical analysis. It also shows, through a series of illustrative examples, how and why poetic analysis requires a historical method if it is to achieve either precision or comprehensiveness. This demonstration takes for its subject the idea of ‘context’ and tries to explain the special relevance of this for poetry, as well as the necessity of an historical method for elucidating the specifically pertinent contexts which penetrate every poem.

Keywords: historical approach; tactical procedures; poetry; historical method; poetic analysis; context; poem

Chapter.  19893 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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