Romanticism and the Androgynous Sublime Revisited. A New Perspective of the English Romantic Poets
|Author: ||Stevenson, Warren|
Explores the emergence from the poetical subtext of the six major English romantic poets of "the androgynous sublime," which conflates elements of the myth of the androgyne, as told by Aristophanes in Plato's Symposium, with the mode of sublimity, first discussed by Longinus, who cited the account of the Creation in the Book of Genesis as a prime example, and much debated from the 18th century onward. The androgynous sublime may be distinguished from the "terrible sublime" of Edmund Burke and the more recent "phallic sublime" of scholar Thomas Weiskel, who before his sudden demise poignantly implied the need for something more durable. Characterized by a flexuous, limber style -associated with androgynous subject matter, the androgynous sublime subverts conventional notions of sublimity while offering a more comprehensive model with which to supplement, if not supplant them.
". . . the interweaving of the contextual and textual will result in important insights into literature, such as those Warren Stevenson provides here . . . Stevenson's innovation lies in his identification of the female or feminine qualities of the sublime and, crucially, their intrinsic relationship with its male or masculine aspects…. By weaving the warp of the textual and the weft of the contextual together so deftly, Stevenson has created a sublime fabric of more complexity than we have previously been able to perceive." - Dr. Julia P. Kielstra, Merton College, Oxford