The Lyrical Epic and the Singularity of Literature

Cairns Craig

in Associationism and the Literary Imagination

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780748609123
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652044 | DOI:
The Lyrical Epic and the Singularity of Literature

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This chapter discusses the lyrical epic, which is a non-narrative long poem. The first section looks at the associationist foundations of several lyrical epics, and then tries to understand the difficulty of modernist poetry. It reveals that the lyrical epic is sometimes regarded as a poem which needs to be read as a representation of the contents of a particular mind, or as a development of the dramatic monologue. This means that it will always be necessarily different, and is the form which fully exploits the associationist tradition's conception of a work of art that exists only in the motivation of the reader's associations. The chapter also emphasizes the importance of pinpointing the structural principle of the lyrical epic.

Keywords: lyrical epic; associationist foundations; modernist poetry; dramatic monologue; associationist tradition; structural principle

Chapter.  10078 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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