Towards a poetics of becoming [Elektronische Ressource] : Samuel Taylor Coleridge
528 Pages
English
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Towards a poetics of becoming [Elektronische Ressource] : Samuel Taylor Coleridge's and John Keats's aesthetics between idealism and deconstruction / eingereicht von Charles Ngiewih Teke

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528 Pages
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Towards a Poetics of Becoming: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s and John Keats’s Aesthetics Between Idealism and Deconstruction Dissertation zur Erlangung der Doktorwürde der Philosophischen Fakultät IV (Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften) der Universität Regensburg eingereicht von Charles NGIEWIH TEKE Alfons-Auer-Str. 4 93053 Regensburg Februar 2004 Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Rainer EMIG Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Dieter A. BERGER 1 TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE DEDICATION..............................................................................................................I ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...........................................................................................II ABSTRACT...............................................................................................................VI English........................................................................................................................VI German......................................................................................................................VII French......................................................................................................................VIII INTRODUCTION Aims of the Study...................................................................................

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Towards a Poetics of Becoming:
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s and John Keats’s Aesthetics Between Idealism
and Deconstruction





Dissertation zur Erlangung der Doktorwürde
der Philosophischen Fakultät IV (Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften)
der Universität Regensburg





eingereicht von

Charles NGIEWIH TEKE
Alfons-Auer-Str. 4
93053 Regensburg

Februar 2004


Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Rainer EMIG
Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Dieter A. BERGER







1 TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE
DEDICATION..............................................................................................................I
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...........................................................................................II
ABSTRACT...............................................................................................................VI
English........................................................................................................................VI
German......................................................................................................................VII
French......................................................................................................................VIII

INTRODUCTION
Aims of the Study.........................................................................................................1
On the Relationship Between S. T. Coleridge and J. Keats..........................................5
Certain Critical Terms.................................................................................................14
Romanticism...............................................................................................................14
First and Second Generation Romantics.....................................................................15
The Concept of the Imagination.................................................................................17
Reality and Truth........................................................................................................19
Beauty.........................................................................................................................22
The Creative Process..................................................................................................22
Romantic Idealism and Romantic Visionary Criticism..............................................23
The Poetics of Becoming............................................................................................25
Constructive Deferral..................................................................................................25
Deconstruction............................................................................................................26
Statement of Hypothesis.............................................................................................27
Chapter Synopsis........................................................................................................28

CHAPTER ONE
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STATEMENT OF
RESEARCH
Introduction................................................................................................................35
The Dynamics of Spirit..............................................................................................37
The Psychological Periphery of Self..........................................................................70
Historicising Romanticism.........................................................................................85
Subverting Visionary Romanticism: (De)Construction.............................................98
Statement of Research..............................................................................................118

CHAPTER TWO
S. T. COLERIDGE: METAPHYSICAL ECOLOGY: NATURE AND THE
TRANSCENDENTAL REALM
Introduction..............................................................................................................124
Existing Notions on Nature and Spirituality Prior to the Romantic Period.............129
Coleridge’s Quest for Distinction: His Metaphysics of Nature and the Philosophy of
Becoming.................................................................................................................138
Coleridge and German Idealism and Romanticism: The Influences........................147
The Search for Unity in a Heterogeneous Universe and the Philosophy of
Becoming.......................................................…......................................................162
Praxis: Poetry, Philosophy, Spiritual Ecstasy and Becoming..................................174
The Philosophical Dispositions of Irony, Fragmentation and Complexity..............186


2 CHAPTER THREE
S. T. COLERIDGE: PSYCHOLOGICAL INTROSPECTION AND
RETROSPECTION: THE SELF IN TIME
Introduction..............................................................................................................210
The Myth of Childhood in English Romanticism....................................................213
The Psychological Bases of Coleridge’s Embattled Psychic Life...........................221
Coleridge’s Self-Written Life: Poetic and Epistolary Self-Mirroring and the
Philosophy of Becoming..........................................................................................229
The Psycho-Dynamics of Self-Definition and Self-Reconstruction with the Other246
The Psychology of Narcissism: A Characteristic Trait in
Coleridge?................................................................................................................262

CHAPTER FOUR
KEATS’S NATURE-CONSCIOUSNESS AND MYTHOPOETIC
EXPERIENCE: SELF-SEEKING FOR AESTHETIC INDENTITY
Keats’s Nature-Consciousness and Becoming... .....................................................269
Keats’s Mythopoetic Consciousness........................................................................282
Theoretical Considerations.......................................................................................285
The Reception of Myth in English Romanticism.....................................................291
Keats’s Myth-Revitalising and Myth-Making: Towards Achieving Aesthetic
Identity.....................................................................................................................304
Mythology and Ekphrasis: Visual Arts and Poetic Choices....................................332

CHAPTER FIVE
KEATS AND THE GNOSTIC TRADITION: INNER SELF-SEARCHING
AND BECOMING
Introduction..............................................................................................................339
Towards a Definition: Gnosticism as a Mystical Clue to Self-knowledge and Self-
redemption................................................................................................................346
Western Christian Orthodoxy and Eastern Mystical Traditions..............................361
Keats’s Gnostic Scheme: The Inner Search for a New Path and Prophetic Self-
elevation...................................................................................................................371
The Gnostic Implications of Keats’s Philosophy of Death......................................410
A Realistic Medium or a Poetico-Philosophical Speculation?.................................415

CHAPTER SIX
THE EROTIC AND SPIRITUAL MOTIVE: THE FEMALE IMAGE IN
COLERIDGE’S AND KEATS’S POETIC EXPERIENCE AND BECOMING
Introduction...............................................................................................................421
The Present Absence and the Psycho-Dynamics of Sublimation.............................426
Decentring Stereotypes: Prefigurative Modern Sexuality in Coleridge...................446
Eroticism and Psycho-Spirituality: The Keatsian Dimension..................................457
CONCLUSION.........................................................................................................478

BIBLIOGRAPHY.....................................................................................................489




3 DEDICATION

To the memory of Professor John Akwe LAMBO and all the prematurely fallen intellectual
and academic heroes.
































I ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The present state of this research endeavour is a result of the contribution of number of
persons and institutions who deserve to be acknowledged. My indebtedness first goes
to my supervisor Prof. Dr. Rainer Emig for his meticulous and rigorous handling of the
work. His supervision has been immense and invaluable. Not only has he sharpened
my critical insight, straightened and strengthened my academic and intellectual
convictions and ambitions, but he has equally increased my admiration for university
teaching and professional consciousness. Without his facilitating of my financial and
material situation as well, I might not have forged through till the very end.
My appreciation and gratitude go to the entire staff of the Institut für Anglistik
und Amerikanistk, University of Regensburg. I am thinking particularly of Prof. Dr.
Dieter A. Berger, who provided a second and enriching reading to my work, and made
insightful suggestions which oriented the work towards its desired goal. I also greatly
benefited from the Literature Research Seminar, which he organised and co-ordinated
in the Summer Semester of the 2002/2003 academic year. I had the unique opportunity
to present the project in its embryonic stage, and profited from the constructive
remarks made by the members of staff in view of its completion. In fact, they
contributed in making my research more memorable than a rite of passage. In all, I
have had a conducive psychological and academic atmosphere to go through from the
Institut and the Central Library of the university.
I also particularly acknowledge Dr. Peter Lenz, who constantly urged me on
and was always prepared to recommend me for any financial possibility I needed to
complete my work. My interaction with him has enriched my professional life and
sustained my sense of the true value of the intellectual enterprise. Also worthy of
sincere thanks and gratitude are Prof. Dr. Schneider, Dr. Daniel Schreier, Mr. Norbert
II Groß and Mrs. Alison Thielecke. They all contributed to make me feel psychologically
and morally comfortable to carry on with my work.
Profs. Christoph Bode, (University of Munich), Hans Werner Breunig
(University of Magdeburg), Anthony John Harding (University of Saskatchewan,
Canada), Nicholas Roe (University of St. Andrews, Scotland), Michael O’Neil
(University of Durham, England), Mark Bruhn (Regis University, Denver USA), and
Naji B. Oueijan (University of Notre Dame, Lebanon), deserve my profound gratitude.
thI had the opportunity to meet and talk with them about my convictions during the 10
International Conference of the German Society for English Romanticism that took
place in the University of Regensburg from September 25 - 28 2003. They were very
open and encouraging, and their presentations were enriching and rewarding.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) granted me more than a
year’s research scholarship that greatly helped in establishing the start and realisation
of a considerable part of this work. The University of Yaounde I was also very
instrumental to my success. It accorded and extended my study-leave to allow me
finish and submit my work in Germany. My colleagues of the Department of English
in the Advanced Teachers Training College (Faculty of Education), University of
Yaounde I, have also played an enormous role in the realisation of the work. I am
particularly referring to Prof. Simo Bobda, Dr. Babila Mutia, Dr. Peter Abety, Prof.
(Mrs.) Ayuk Martha, Dr. (Mrs.) Njika Justine, Dr. Daniel Nkemleke, Dr. Luc
Mbassegue, Dr. Aloysius Ngefac, Mr. Nicholas Lukong and Dr. John Nkemngong.
They strongly encouraged my determination and resolve to finish. With them I have
always felt my lecturing position as something much more than a job, and I have also
learned from them the will to conquer. I am indebted to Prof. Samson Abangma, Vice
Rector of the University of Dschang, Cameroon, who took off time from his research
III engagements in German to discuss certain theoretical and critical perspectives of my
work.
A number of friends and well-wishers have significantly played a role in
enhancing my personal and intellectual experience: Victor Gomia of the University of
Bayreuth, Isaiah Ayafor of the University of Freiburg, Atechi Samuel of the
University of Berlin and Festus Fru of the University of Essen all provided invaluable
incentives to boost my sense of determination and resolve to get to the end. Alisher
Aldashev of the Faculty of Economics, Darja Mlakar of the Institut für Gemanistik,
and Sofroni Renata of the Teaching Hospital, all of the University of Regensburg,
were an inspiring and encouraging force behind the work. Wolfgang Funk read
through portions of the work and made very insightful remarks that pointed to the
strengthening of my critical and conceptual arguments. The concern and encouraging
words of Tanja Gockel, Zhou Yiye, Gokçe Uzar, Marina Stebelezkaja, Judit Mader,
Julia Kohout, Adelheid Schießlbauer, Evelyn Stradtner, Beate Gierl, Fadi, Jorge Barra,
Orphé Mabiala, Marten Menke, Thomas Hoffmann, Martin Kraus, Dramane Traore,
John Ekeruke and Uncle Karl Strosche kept my working motivation high. To them and
all those whose names have not been listed here, I extend sincere thanks.
Special thanks go to my family for the love, attention and the wonderful
affection that it has given me all through my stay out of Cameroon. I think particularly
of my parents the Tekes, my brother and sisters; Nelson, Jennifer, Nicolyn, and
Renate, my cousin Ni Robinson, my “twin brother” Kuchah Harry and my uncle and
wife Mr. and Mrs. Wutofu. With them, the dreams have always been alive and coming
true. The family of Dr. Joseph Tamukong also fuelled my hopes of making my work a
reality.
The following university libraries were also instrumental in my acquiring of
critical material; the Central Library of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, the Central
IV Library of the University of Cologne, the Central Library of the University of
Stuttgart, the Central Library of the University of Bayreuth, the Central Library of the
University of Heidelberg, all of Germany, and the Central Library of the University of
Salzburg, Austria.
Regensburg, February 2004
Charles Ngiewih TEKE















































V

ABSTRACT

Towards a Poetics of Becoming: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s and John Keats’s
Aesthetics Between Idealism and Deconstruction grapples with a new aspect in reading and
interpreting Romantic textuality, evident in both writers. Resisting the radical presuppositions
of current idealist critical readings on the one hand, and modern and postmodern critical
approaches that sideline Romantic aesthetic and spiritual idealism and dismiss Romantic
theory as a whole respectively, the work sets forth to re-evaluate Romantic idealism from
within the interpretative context of the philosophy of becoming. In this vein, it argues that a
majority of the texts of Coleridge and Keats strongly substantiate their long sustained
idealism, through a permanent process of transformation and changes in the developing self
towards a desired goal.
The centrality of the poetics of becoming, the work conjectures, is understood from a
reformulation of Schlegel’s Romantic theory on irony and becoming, and Hegel’s idealistic
dialectics, which argue for the non-progressive contradictory self and the spiral attainment of
absolute knowledge respectively. The hermeneutic and phenomenological understanding of
logical and constructive irony, paradox, fragmentation, self-contradiction, anti-self-
consciousness and constructive deferral, do not only place the texts treated as dynamic and
highly interrelated with other texts, but most importantly the developing and transforming self
of the writers, positing the argument that the question of self-presence and intentionality is
tenable in the process of becoming.





VI ABSTRACT


Towards a Poetics of Becoming: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s and John Keats’s Aesthetics
Between Idealism and Deconstruction befasst sich mit einem neuen Aspekt in der
Interpretation romantischer Texte, die in beiden Autoren aufscheint. Im Gegensatz zu den
radikalen Auffassungen gegenwärtiger idealistischer Lesarten einerseits und moderner und
postmoderner kritischer Herangehensweisen, die romantischen ästhetischen und spirituellen
Idealismus ebenso wie romantische Theorie als Ganze für nebensächlich betrachten,
andererseits, versucht die vorliegende Arbeit, romantischen Idealismus ausgehend vom
interpretativen Kontext einer Philosophie des Werdens zu betrachten. Auf diese Weise kann
sie behaupten, dass die Mehrzahl der Texte von Coleridge und Keats ihren deutlich zum
Ausdruck gebrachten Idealismus durch die Betonung eines andauernden Prozesses der
Transformation des sich entwickelnden Selbsts hin zu einem ersehnten Ziel logisch aufrecht
erhalten können.
Die Arbeit schließt daraus, dass die zentrale Rolle der Poetik des Werdens aus der
Reformulierung von Schlegels Theorie von Ironie und Werden und Hegels idealistischer
Dialektik, die sich für ein nicht immer fortschreitendes widersprüchliches Selbst und eine
spiralförmige Annäherung an absolute Erkenntnis ausspricht, verstanden werden muss. Das
hermeneutische und phänomenologische Verständnis von logischer und konstruktiver Ironie,
des Paradoxen, der Fragmentierung, des Selbstwiderspruchs, des Anti-Selbstbewusstseins und
der konstruktiven Verzögerung lässt die behandelten Texte nicht nur als dynamisch und
hochgradig mit anderen Texten verbunden erscheinen, sondern am allerwichtigsten als
Abbilder der sich entwickelnden und verändernden Selbstentwürfe ihrer Autoren, was zum
Argument führt, dass eine Präsenz von Selbst und Intentionalität durchaus in einem Prozess
der Werdens aufrecht erhalten werden kann.

VII