Reading a Poem

Nicholas Royle

in Veering

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780748636549
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652303 | DOI:
Reading a Poem

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The writings of Lewis Carroll and Sigmund Freud are engines of poetic transformation. Patrick Mahony suggests that diataxis is about the veering of the ‘inner’ world, having to do with moments of ‘decisive spiritual illumination’. It is discussed here how a ‘demonics’ of veering gets staged and reworked in English Romanticism and in post-Romantic writing. The chapter also briefly describes four directions in which veering goes: love and desire, imagination, otherness and war. ‘Veerings’ is finely suggestive of various aspects of the poem as a whole, above all its shifting historical, narrative and dramaturgic perspectives, its kaleidoscopic qualities or ‘multiplied shimmering’. It is not simply Thomas Hardy's word, but that of a dramatic, fictional, ‘mental’ persona, as well as an actual historical figure long dead at the time of Hardy's writing.

Keywords: veering; poetic transformation; reading; Lewis Carroll; Sigmund Freud; Thomas Hardy; English Romanticism; post-Romantic writing

Chapter.  9067 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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