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Coleridge’s Anxiety

  • Thomas McFarland

Abstract

Much of Coleridge’s existence was a death in life. His deep commitment to the Christian religion was sustained, on the one hand, by the need to feel that there must be something better than the torment in which he so mysteriously found himself, and, on the other, by the sense of his inability to cope with his manifold failings:

I profess a deep conviction [he wrote] that Man was and is a fallen Creature, not by accidents of bodily constitution, or any other cause, which human Wisdom in a course of ages might be supposed capable of removing; but diseased in his Will.… (AR 136)

Certainly this view, central to Christian faith, corresponded exactly to the facts of life as he himself experienced them. His intellect, noted Southey in 1815, was ‘as clear and as powerful as ever was vouchsafed to man’, but ‘he labours under a disease of the volition’.1

Keywords

Christian Faith Psychoanalytic Theory Christian Religion Green Radiance Cherry Juice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    New Letters of Robert Southey, ed. K. Curry (New York, 1965) II 117–18.Google Scholar
  2. 19.
    E. Betham (ed.), A House of Letters (1905) p. 116.Google Scholar
  3. 22.
    D. Beres, ‘A Dream, a Vision and a Poem: A Psycho-analytic Study of the Origins of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis (1951) XXXII 97–116.Google Scholar
  4. 23.
    J. D. Campbell, Samuel Taylor Coleridge … (1894) p. 3;Google Scholar
  5. J. Gillman, Life of Coleridge (1838), p. 7. Cited Beres, loc. cit., 102.Google Scholar
  6. 52.
    See Jane Worthington Smyser, ‘Coleridge’s Use of Wordsworth’s Juvenilia’, Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (1950), LXV 419–26; E. H. W. Meyerstein, ‘Wordsworth and Coleridge’, Times Literary Supplement, 29 Nov 1941, p. 596; 6 Dec 1941, p. 611. For Coleridge’s borrowing of ‘green radiance’, and the composition of his footnote, see Robert Woof, ‘Wordsworth and Coleridge: Some Early Matters’, Bicentenary Wordsworth Studies in Memory of John Alban Finch, ed. Jonathan Wordsworth (Ithaca, N.Y., 1970) pp. 76–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 62.
    J.-P. Sartre, L’être et le néant; essai d’ontologie phénoménologique (Paris, 1943) p. 66.Google Scholar
  8. 68.
    Life of Savage, ed. C. Tracy (Oxford, 1971) pp. 139–40.Google Scholar
  9. 69.
    op. cit., p. 139.Google Scholar
  10. 79.
    ‘H. N. Coleridge’s Preface’, The Table Talk and Omniana of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. T. Ashe (1888) p. 13.Google Scholar
  11. 81.
    F. R. Leavis, ‘Coleridge in Criticism’, Scrutiny (1040) ix, 69.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Beer 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas McFarland

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