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|Title:||Inside and Around the Urn: A Phenomenological Reading of Keats's Odes|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis provides phenomenological interpretations of Keats's odes. I The numerous paradoxes evoked in the odes reflect Keats's vacillation between immediate, beautiful phenomena and a philosophical acknowledgement of their evanescence. This dual perception is also apparent in his attitude to art, which is seen as either an illusory distortion of the actual world, or a medium through which one transcends one's temporality and participates in the immortal realm.</p> <p>The theoretical introduction briefly outlines the history of phenomenology and the schools of literary criticism it has influenced. Most I important to my analysis are the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, whose philosophical hermeneutics suggests that interpretation in the humanities must I evolve from our knowledge of tradition rather than from scientific method, and I of Wolfgang Iser, whose reader-response theory of literature stresses the role I of individual readers in formulating a text's meaning.</p> <p>With one section of the central chapter devoted to each of the poems, I apply phenomenological concepts to the odes which elucidate Keats's use of paradox, his view of the relation between time and space, and his theory of the development of the self through its experience with the world of phenomena. The collective speakers in the odes move towards a broader perspective, being increasingly able to balance their appreciation of ephemeral beauty with a transcendent acceptance: of human limitation; in the same way, the reader gains self-awareness in achieving a balance between her personal disposition and the meaning emitted by the text.</p> <p>It is remarkable that few critics have interpreted Keats's odes from a phenomenological perspective, which encourages an open-minded attitude to the world without denying more transcendent, spiritual truths, both aspects central to these poems. A study of the odes must not seek to explain contradictions, but to accept them as fundamental paradoxes of experiential life.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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