Title: Coleridge As Poet and Religious Thinker (Pittsburgh Theological Monographs, New Series, No 15)
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Pickwick Publications April 1985
0915138700 / 9780915138708
Seller ID: 20081217151311
Clergyman and scholar David Jasper would have us see Samuel Taylor Coleridge transposed within Piranesi's etching, The Prisons''an insignificant and indistinct figure...toiling up a staircase which ascends mysteriously and infinitely into the vaulted recesses. Aspiration matches the endlessness of a prison which both traps the artist in his finitude and suggests a possible escape into infinity for the man who would persevere against terrible odds.'' Operating within the belief that art and aesthetics can illuminate and refresh the religious life, Jasper seeks to reconcile the schism that developed late in the nineteenth century between those who read Coleridge as a religious writer-in the tradition of Hooker, Milton and Jeremy Taylor -- and those who read him as a poet and literary critic, dismissing his religious thought as ''confused mysticism, detached, unsystematic and insubstantial.'' Examining Coleridge's Romantic context, several of his major poems (''The Eolian Harp,'' ''Kubla Kahn,'' ''The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,'' and ''Dejection''), critical prose, and later poems, prose and notebooks, our good man Jasper reveals Coleridge as a wrecked man bowed beneath his sense of sin and failure but nevertheless gladly constricted by ''the paradoxes of Christian believing.'' Most interesting is Jasper's comparison between Coleridge's religious thought and that of several nineteenth and twentieth century theologians as well as the consonance between Northrop Fry's The Great Code (a study of the Bible and literature) and Coleridge's reflections on literature and the artist as creator.