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Coleridge and the Romantic Vision of the World

  • M. H. Abrams

Abstract

His last name, the poet enjoins us, is to be pronounced as three syllables, with the ‘o’ long. ‘For it is one of the vilest Belzebubberies of Detraction to pronounce it Col-ridge, Cŏllěridge, or even Cōle-ridge. It is & must be to all honest and honorable men, a trisyllabic Amphimacer, — ∪ —!’1 And upon his first name Coleridge projected his self-distrust and the contempt he felt for his lack of decisiveness — attitudes which all his life made him heavily reliant on the good opinion of others to buttress his self-esteem. ‘From my earliest years,’ he wrote, ‘I have had a feeling of Dislike & Disgust’ for the name Samuel: ‘such a vile short plumpness, such a dull abortive smartness, in [the] first Syllable … the wabble it makes, & staggering between a diss- & a tri-syllable … altogether it is perhaps the worst combination, of which vowels & consonants are susceptible.’2

Keywords

French Revolution Ontological Argument German Philosopher German Idealism Mechanic Philosophy 
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Notes

  1. 12.
    R. Kroner, Von Kant bis Hegel (Tübingen, 1921–1924) I 1–3.Google Scholar
  2. 14.
    C. L. Reinhold, Briefe über die Kantische Philosophie (Leipzig, 1790) I 9–16.Google Scholar
  3. 15.
    J.G. Fichte, Briefwechsel, ed. Hans Schulz (Leipzig, 1925) I 449–450; to Baggesen, April 1795.Google Scholar
  4. 19.
    ‘My Mental Development’, in The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell, ed. P. A. Schilpp (New York, 1963) pp. 10–12.Google Scholar
  5. 23.
    Joseph Warren Beach, ‘Coleridge’s Borrowings from the German’, Journal of English Literary History ix (1942) pp. 38n. 50; Fruman 126.Google Scholar
  6. 24.
    John Stuart Mill, ‘Coleridge’ (1840; Dissertations and Discussions 1859) in Mill on Bentham and Coleridge, ed. F. R. Leavis (1950) pp. 99–100.Google Scholar
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    Newton, Opticks (4th ed.), ed. I. Bernard Cohen and others (New York, 1952) Query 31, p. 400, and Queries 17–23. pp. 347–53.Google Scholar
  8. 26.
    Ibid., Query 31, P. 403 and Query 28, p. 370.Google Scholar
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    The Complete Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. Shedd (New York, 1853) iii 709. See Thomas McFarland’s thorough study of Coleridge and the Pantheist Tradition (Oxford, 1969) especially chap. iii.Google Scholar
  10. 48.
    Wallace Stevens, The Necessary Angel (1960) pp. 40–1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Beer 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. H. Abrams

There are no affiliations available

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