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The Lyric Poem and AestheticismForms of Modernity$
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Marion Thain

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415668

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415668.001.0001

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A. C. Swinburne in the Round: Drama, Personae and Lyric Subjectivity

A. C. Swinburne in the Round: Drama, Personae and Lyric Subjectivity

(p.189) Chapter 9 A. C. Swinburne in the Round: Drama, Personae and Lyric Subjectivity
The Lyric Poem and Aestheticism

Marion Thain

Edinburgh University Press

The first case study of this part of the book teases out of Swinburne’s metrical masochism a perversely chaste account of lyric community, in which poetic form works to imagine a chorus of voices. Starting with poem ‘Anactoria’, one of the best known poems of Poems and Ballads (1866), the chapter analyses the questions of genre and poetic community posed in Swinburne’s early work. Reading on through his oeuvre this impulse might find a natural outlet within Swinburne’s politically-engaged work of the 1870s, but what about the more Parnassian ‘A Century of Roundels’ (1883)? Close reference to this volume, enables the chapter to demonstrate models of lyric collectivity in poems that are far from any ’dramatic monologue’ model—and ultimately provides the tools to offer a fresh engagement with ‘Anactoria’. Comparison with the poems of Oscar Wilde helps focus the issues of poetic subjectivity and connect with Wilde’s infamous d commentary on Swinburne’s poetic subjectivity.

Keywords:   A. C. Swinburne, Drama, Chorus, Subjectivity, Roundel, Anactoria, Oscar Wilde

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