By Christopher Stokes (auth.)
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Additional info for Coleridge, Language and the Sublime: From Transcendence to Finitude
28). The ‘mark’ implies that each glance has already slid away (Old French glaichier, to slip) before even received, leaving just an indent or memory. 32), an evanescent glow, only barely present in a landscape of soft half-light. It is telling that the central charm in the workings of fancy is but a name: thus not a presence but yet another mark working in the absence of its referent: SPIRITS OF LOVE! ye heard her name! Obey The powerful spell, and to my haunt repair. 37–8) Even when their paths do meet, her voice seems simultaneously present and distant: With her I list the warblings of the grove; And seems in each low wind her voice to float, Lone-whispering Pity in each soothing note!
So much for the real Sara: the very opposition between true and imaginary seems to falter as Coleridge cannot avoid drawing her into the embrace of Spenserian figures. In summary, ‘Effusion XXIV’ begins by associating fancy and falsity, but this association can threaten Coleridge’s supposedly authentic poetic speaking position. It becomes apparent that the emotion is bound to a certain fabular, literary or even dreamlike experience of oneself. Terada’s recent work on emotion opens up this problem into a theorisation of emotion that works against the commonplace assumption that we interpret the emotions of others mediately by comparing them to our own immediate experience.
357). This dissimulated, staged sincerity is something that this chapter has met time and again: it is yet another version of Longinus’s concealed figure. However, the problem of the fabular, staged or rhetorical nature of emotion and the emotional self did not simply go away. Another important poetic speaking position that Coleridge adopted was also close to the Longinian tradition, and also demanded an exceptional subjectivity striking his auditors with a language of force. We find this in his political verse of the 1790s, and many of the same problems recur.