Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Literary Criticism - Coleridge and The Influence of The Gothic

Coleridge and The Influence of The Gothic

Coleridge wrote reviews of Ann Radcliffe’s books and The Mad Monk, among others. He comments in his reviews: "Situations of torment, and images of naked horror, are easily conceived; and a writer in whose works they abound, deserves our gratitude almost equally with him who should drag us by way of sport through a military hospital, or force us to sit at the dissecting-table of a natural philosopher. To trace the nice boundaries, beyond which terror and sympathy are deserted by the pleasurable emotions, – to reach those limits, yet never to pass them, hic labor, hic opus est." and "The horrible and the preternatural have usually seized on the popular taste, at the rise and decline of literature. Most powerful stimulants, they can never be required except by the torpor of an unawakened, or the languor of an exhausted, appetite... We trust, however, that satiety will banish what good sense should have prevented; and that, wearied with fiends, incomprehensible characters, with shrieks, murders, and subterraneous dungeons, the public will learn, by the multitude of the manufacturers, with how little expense of thought or imagination this species of composition is manufactured."

However, Coleridge used these elements in poems such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), Christabel and Kubla Khan (published in 1816, but known in manuscript form before then) and certainly influenced other poets and writers of the time. Poems like these both drew inspiration from and helped to inflame the craze for Gothic romance. Mary Shelley, who knew Coleridge well, mentions The Rime of the Ancient Mariner twice directly in Frankenstein, and some of the descriptions in the novel echo it indirectly. Although William Godwin, her father, disagreed with Coleridge on some important issues, he respected his opinions and Coleridge often visited the Godwins. Mary Shelley later recalled hiding behind the sofa and hearing his voice chanting The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Read more about this topic:  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Literary Criticism

Other articles related to "coleridge and the influence of the gothic, coleridge, gothic":

Silas Tomkyn Comberbache - Literary Criticism - Coleridge and The Influence of The Gothic
... Coleridge wrote reviews of Ann Radcliffe’s books and The Mad Monk, among others ... little expense of thought or imagination this species of composition is manufactured." However, Coleridge used these elements in poems such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798 ... Poems like these both drew inspiration from and helped to inflame the craze for Gothic romance ...

Famous quotes containing the words gothic, coleridge and/or influence:

    It is perhaps the principal admirableness of the Gothic schools of architecture, that they receive the results of the labour of inferior minds; and out of fragments full of imperfection ... raise up a stately and unaccusable whole.
    John Ruskin (1819–1900)

    Alone, alone, all, all alone,
    Alone on a wide wide sea!
    And never a saint took pity on
    My soul in agony.
    —Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)

    If the dignity as well as the prestige and influence of the United States are not to be wholly sacrificed, we must protect those who, in foreign ports, display the flag or wear the colors of this Government against insult, brutality, and death, inflicted in resentment of the acts of their Government, and not for any fault of their own.
    Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901)