Starting with the idea of the late nineteenth century as a locus of ‘lyric crisis’, the introduction outlines established scholarly narratives of the relationship between poetry and modernity in the nineteenth century, and describes how the book will challenge these through its attention to aestheticist poetry. It goes on to explain the remit and choices made in the structure of the book (which is organized around three parts, each of which contains three chapters), and ends by situating the book’s methodology in relation to the fields of lyric studies and lyric theory. The overall aim of the book is stated as the analysis of the relationship between lyric and modernity prior to the better known story of poetic modernisation that occurs within high modernism in the first half of the twentieth century.
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