Keats, Narrative and Audience: The Posthumous Life of Writing
Cambridge University Press, 1994 M03 24 - 254 pages
Andrew Bennett's original study of Keats focuses on questions of narrative and audience as a means to offer new readings of the major poems. It discusses ways in which reading is 'figured' in Keats's poetry, and suggests that such 'figures of reading' have themselves determined certain modes of response to Keats's texts. In particular, it explores the way in which Romantic writing figures reception as necessarily deferred to a time after the poet's death: reading as the 'posthumous life' of writing. Together with important new readings of Keats's poetry, the study presents a significant rethinking of the relationship between Romantic poetry and its audience. Developing recent discussions in literary theory concerning narrative, readers and reading, the nature of the audience for poetry, and the Romantic 'invention' of posterity, Bennett elaborates a sophisticated and historically specific reconceptualization of Romantic writing.
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