Chapter

Introduction: Keats, Enlightenment and Romanticism

Porscha Fermanis

in John Keats and the Ideas of the Enlightenment

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780748637805
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652181 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637805.003.0001
Introduction: Keats, Enlightenment and Romanticism

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This book seeks to contribute to the ongoing re-historicisation of Romantic-era attitudes towards the century that preceded them by investigating the complicated nature of the relationship between John Keats' poetry and the ideas of the Enlightenment. It interrogates the (at least partly self-generated) idea that Romanticism is an improvement or correction to facile and reductive Enlightenment understandings. Then, it shows the extent to which apparently redundant Enlightenment models of representation persisted in the early nineteenth century and therefore continued to shape Romantic-era literary writing. The nature of Keats' reception has increasingly come at a cost both to his place in a wider Romantic culture and to understandings of his poems. Keats' knowledge of Enlightenment texts is a significant interpretive resource for a full understanding of his work and this book is a deliberate return to the practice of ‘reading’ poems. Finally, the chapter summarises the content of the rest of the chapters in this book.

Keywords: John Keats; Enlightenment; Romanticism; literary writing; Romantic culture; Romantic-era

Chapter.  6779 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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