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Of all the Victorian poets, Edward Lear has a good claim to the widest audience: admired and championed by critics and poets from John Ruskin to John Ashbery, he has also been read, heard, and loved by generations of children. As a central figure in the literature of nonsense, Lear has also shaped the evolution of modern literature and his work continues to influence and inspire writers and readers today. This collection of essays, the first ever devoted solely to Lear, builds on a recent resurgence of critical interest and asks how it is that the play of Lear's poetry continues to delight, and to challenge our sense of what poetry can be. These seventeen chapters, written by established and emerging critics of poetry, seek to explore and appreciate the playfulness embodied in the poems and to provide contexts in which it can be better understood and enjoyed. They consider how Lear's poems play off various inheritances (the literary fool, Romantic lyric, his religious upbringing), explore particular forms in which his playful genius took flight (his letters, his queer writings about love), and trace lines of Learical influence and inheritance by showing how other poets and thinkers across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries played off Lear in their turn (Stein, Eliot, Auden, Smith, Ashbery, and others).
Number of Pages: 381
Genre: Literary Criticism
Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr
Street Date: October 25, 2016
Item Number (DPCI): 248-22-1793
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