This article examines the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge in relation to European literature. Coleridge was a literary enthusiast throughout his life, gobbling up a diverse diet of reading from various European traditions. He was committed to the task of translation as well as to the critical appraisal of the English literature of his time. The article attempts to explain the ways in which these apparently opposing aspects of his literary enthusiasm grew together and remained fundamental to one another, while also pointing to the most important connections to European literature within Coleridge's oeuvre.
James C. McKusick
This article examines the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge in relation to language theory. It argues that Coleridge's speculation on linguistic universals anticipates Noam Chomsky's theory of generative grammar. The article suggests that Coleridge's engagement with language theory was vitally important to the intellectual culture of its own time, and that it remains a seminal instance of nineteenth-century speculation on the nature and origin of language.
This article examines the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge relevant to philosophy. It suggests that although Coleridge did not leave behind an original, coherent philosophical system or a single finished book which could be called a philosophical work, he has somehow acquired the reputation of being the most philosophical of the British Romantic poets. The article discusses doubts concerning Coleridge's qualifications as an original philosophical thinker. Renée Wellek, for example, remarked on the fundamental weakness of his thought– incoherence and indistinctness–and considered the study of Coleridge's philosophy to be futile.
This article examines the issues of plagiarism in the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It explains that the sources of Coleridge's writings have long fascinated critics. Coleridge's kindest critics have disentangled the components of his eclectically derivative corpus and compulsively devious practice, while his unkindest critic, Norman Fruman, has reacted against the canonical sentimentality that has transmogrified the real Coleridge into the ‘Da Vinci’ of literature. The article suggests that Coleridge crossed a qualitative line, that intangible border which separates plagiarists from the other writers who have their secrets, but who seem to lack the tendency towards dependency.
Eric G. Wilson
This article examines the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge relevant to science. It explains that Coleridge, for most of his adult life, had been an assiduous student of several scientific disciplines, ranging from geology to chemistry to physiology. The article argues that Coleridge never separated his poetical and philosophical efforts from ongoing commitment to the hard facts of nature, and that his stay with physician James Gillman in Highgate, England provided him with the opportunity to learn more about science.
This article examines the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge relevant to arts. It highlights his efforts to attain fluency in the language of the visual arts, but also to bring the visual and the verbal into conversation in the space of the text. The article suggests that Coleridge's deep consideration of the arts influenced other areas of his thought, including his political writings, his arguments on the history of philosophy, and his later spiritual writings.
Christopher R. Miller
This article examines the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge in relation to the English poetic tradition. It suggests that Coleridge advanced the tradition envisioned by Thomas Gray by departing from the kind of ode which his predecessor exalted. The article contends that while lyric form alone could not revivify Coleridge's spirits, it indisputably invigorated the English poetic tradition. Some of those influenced by Coleridge's works include John Keats.
This article examines the collaboration and ‘symbiosis’ of English poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. It explains that this celebrated friendship involved intimate and creative gift exchange both in world view and in the craft of verse, and that two instances of this gift were Frost at Midnight and Tintern Abbey, two of the greatest poems of 1798. The article contends that the long-term outcome of this friendship was a weakening of each poet's confidence in his own voice.
This article examines the work of Samuel Taylor Coleridge relevant to theology. It explains that despite being mostly known in literature, Coleridge was primarily a theologian, and that he was serious in his theology. Coleridge investigated the questions of the status of Scripture, doctrines of the Fall, justification and sanctification, and the personality and infinity of God. He believed that theology requires philosophical explication, and his theology was deeply metaphysical.
Michael John Kooy
This article examines the career of Samuel Taylor Coleridge as editor of The Watchman and The Friend. It suggests that although these journals were produced in very different political circumstances by a man whose own political views had also changed profoundly, they both arose out of, and sought to address, the feeling of disenchantment with politics by appealing to fixed principles. These journals injected high moral purpose, historical perspective, and philosophical reflection into political debate in order to give strength to those whose millenarian hopes had not been realized.
This article examines Samuel Taylor Coleridge's career as a literary critic, focusing on his Biographia Literaria and Essays on the Principles of Genial Criticism. It explains that Biographia Literaria is Coleridge's most controversial, most widely read and most provocative work, which he wrote after his battle with opium addiction. The article suggests that Essays on the Principles of Genial Criticism was based on Immanuel Kant's Critique of Judgment and on the aesthetic theory of Richard Payne Knight, whom Coleridge considered as a serious rival in aesthetics.
H. J. Jackson
This article describes Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a reader and discusses the topic of marginalia. It suggests that Coleridge is the best-known scribbler in books in the English-speaking world, having held the title unchallenged for 170 years or more. The article argues that Coleridge was a reader all his life and it helped him acquire the full set of languages and the advanced competence in disparate fields.
This article examines the reputation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a talker and sage. It suggests that Coleridge's celebrity as a sage and conversationalist was at its height during his stay with the Gillmans in Highgate, England from 1816 onwards, and especially the period after 1829. The article discusses the distinctive opinions he expressed to his numerous visitors in this period based on Table Talk.
Murray J. Evans
This article describes Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a thinker based on his Logic and Opus Maximum. It argues that while these works failed to attract much readership and scholarship, they reveal Coleridge the thinker in uniquely rich ways, with insights which surprise and reorient our current knowledge on both Coleridge and also a number of perennial issues for Coleridge and Romantics scholarship. The article provides contextual comments on each text.
This article examines the work of Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a translator. It explains that Coleridge was able to establish himself as a translator early in his career, with his English version of Friedrich Schiller's Wallenstein in 1800. Schiller's work was translated into English as The Piccolomini and The Death of Wallenstein, which both contain several thousand lines. After translating Schiller's work, Coleridge continued in his role, as interpreter and commentator on German literature and philosophy.
This article examines Samuel Taylor Coleridge's views on allegory and symbol. It discusses criticisms on Coleridge's desynonymizing of allegory and symbols that fall under the three broad categories of empirical, conceptual, and ethical. The article highlights the Coleridgean distinction between the symbol as a non-discursive and synecdochical form of representation and allegory as the discursive representation of abstractions through unrelated images of no inherent significance.
Coleridge on Politics and Religion: The Statesman's Manual, Aids to Reflection, on the Constitution of Church and State
This article examines Samuel Taylor Coleridge's views on politics and religion. It argues that Coleridge, from his earliest writings on politics and religion, had grounded his accounts of government and civil society in philosophical and theological understandings of truth. The article analyses three works that are key to understanding Coleridge's political and religious thought. These are The Statesman's Manual, Aids to Reflection, and On the Constitution of Church and State According to the Idea of Each.
This article examines Samuel Taylor Coleridge's ‘dialogues’ with German thought and literature. It explains that Coleridge was deeply engaged in the German renaissance of culture in the late eighteenth century, leading to the high period of German literature. The article discusses Coleridge's early interest in German, his appreciation of Friedrich Schiller as a playwright, and his reading of contemporary poets such as Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock.
Morton D. Paley
This article examines the works of the early biographers of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Some of the notable early biographies of Coleridge include Thomas De Quincey's Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Joseph Cottle's Early Recollections Chiefly Relating to the Late Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and James Gillman's The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The article compares the contents of the biographies and the authors' perceptions of Coleridge.
This article examines the early poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge written between 1790 and 1796, focusing on his 1796 Poems on Various Subjects. It suggests that this 1796 work shows a disingenuousness in which naivety is being performed alongside self-assurance, and that it was organised so that maturity and adolescence alternate, and youthful love-verses sit alongside a politically committed public voice. The article discusses the changes in the tone of the poem when memory distracts Coleridge from the immediate scene.