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Title: Bakhtin's "Existence as Dialogue" and Wordsworth's Confession
Authors: Pauline Ling-Hwai Wu
Issue Date: Jan-2002
Publisher: 英語學系
Department of English, NTNU
Abstract: According to M. H. Abrams, the “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” contains the neoplatonic view that the primitive glory of the soul, gradually quenched by its descent into the earth, must be “gradually recollected” by the subject in the course of this life. For me, Wordsworth’s use of the concept of preexistence is based on “imitation.” As far as we know, many Wordsworth’s poems are concerned with the growth of the poetic mind, an automatic one—especially those written in an address-style. They show some trace of mimesis related to consciousness, but belong to its different levels, even though the twentieth-century critics, like post-modern critics, have denied the Romantic claim for the primacy of cogito. Then, why is Wordsworth’s mimesis related to the automatic mind? Is his mimesis only in accordance with a logocentric definition—literary mimesis as the representation of life? Or is it more than that? Is such a mind completely automatic from its outset? Or is it stratified, though it has transformations by the other? What does it mean by mimesis in detail? Why is it, merely through the methodology, that the subject regains the Heaven? What method is mimesis employed by the mind? I find that mimesis, revealed in Wordsworth’s address-style poems, is a very peculiar policy of confession that produces the signification of self. But confessions are more than that. Confession, by its form, is “transference,”1 in that it involves a confessor who supposes a specific listener he is speaking to at a particular time. However, the actual medium of confession is the inner mind, which, through what I call “confessing mimesis” in three different states, cultivates the faculty of the mind to be infinite, the essence of soul. In this article, therefore, I will rethink how the mind operates in Wordsworth’s poem “When to the Attractions of the World” by importing the idea of Bakhtin’s philosophy “Existence as Dialogue.” And how the poem is inte
Other Identifiers: 189BE05F-E9AE-5814-86C7-63FD42D59A7C
Appears in Collections:Concentric: Studies in English Literature and Linguistics

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