By Aaron Santesso
This e-book examines the emergence of a brand new style through the eighteenth century: the nostalgia poem. This style is healthier understood by means of reconceiving the premises of nostalgia itself, interpreting it as at the beginning a method of idealization instead of a eager for the previous. From the poems that make up this style, we've got derived lots of our sleek principles and pictures of nostalgia. In tracing the heritage of the nostalgia poem, this booklet additionally strains a trend of "tropic change," during which a brand new style is equipped round tropes extracted from the demise genres. This new style then starts off generating its personal tropes; on the subject of the nostalgia poem, those comprise idealized university days and ruined villages. As those tropes turn into overly popular, the nostalgia poem style itself starts to crumble. This e-book reevaluates poems starting from Dryden's Hastings elegy to Crabbe's "The Village", exhibiting how works as diverse as Gray's Eton collage Ode, Macpherson's solid epics, and Goldsmith's "The abandoned Village" are all a part of a doomed literary test - an test that has however made up our minds the process sleek nostalgic idea. Aaron Santesso is Assistant Professor of English on the collage of Nevada.
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Additional info for A Careful Longing: The Poetics And Problems of Nostalgia
7 The possibility that those nostalgic moments might instead be drawn from the conventions of elegiac rhetoric is less dramatic, but it is clearly a more plausible explanation for the nostalgia of the early elegies. Dryden, one assumes, had strong personal memories and feelings about Cromwell. But his ‘‘Heroique Stanzas to the Glorious Memory of Cromwell’’ (1659), which appeared in a volume of elegies for Cromwell, contains nothing that might threaten the boilerplate consistency of the collection.
Such moments suggest that Dryden’s elegiac nostalgia is less a withdrawal into past memories than an engagement with a present public. Eleonora is a practical work, largely assembled from pre-used material, including ................. 15877$ $CH1 07-14-06 08:12:14 PS PAGE 35 36 A CAREFUL LONGING the striking description of Eleonora’s entry in ‘‘Fate’s eternal Book’’ (292): But more will wonder at so short an Age; To find a Blank beyond the thirti’th Page; And with a pious fear begin to doubt The Piece imperfect, and the rest torn out.
33 Nostalgia, therefore, featured prominently in both conceptions of pastoral, but the shape and object of that nostalgia, and the importance of idealization, varied. Pope’s ‘‘Discourse on Pastoral Poetry’’ combines elements of both positions. ’’34 But Pope soon turns toward Rapin’s assertion that idealization is necessary to the delight of the form: ‘‘[P]astoral is an image of what they call the Golden age. So that we are not to describe our shepherds as shepherds at this day really are, but as they may be conceiv’d then to have been; when the best of men follow’d the employment.