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Buried Communities
Wordsworth and the Bonds of Mourning
Buried Communities
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Kurt Fosso - Author
Price: $55.00 
Hardcover - 308 pages
Release Date: December 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5959-4
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5959-1

Quantity:  
Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 308 pages
Release Date: January 2007
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5960-7

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Offers an explanation for the poet's mysterious and longstanding preoccupation with death and grief.

Kurt Fosso's Buried Communities analyzes the social relationship between mourning and community in William Wordsworth's writings from 1785 to 1814. In close readings of such major works as The Ruined Cottage, Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude, and The Excursion, Fosso uncovers the idea of mournful community, or what Wordsworth cryptically proclaimed to be a "spiritual community binding together the living and the dead." In addition to offering an explanation for the poet's mysterious, longstanding preoccupation with death and grief, Fosso discovers a poetry insistently social in orientation—and consistently social in character—and uncovers significant coherence between the poet's early and later works. Buried Communities situates Wordsworth as a reformist during a time of social and political crisis, for whom mourning promised to bind together his disaffected countrymen and disjointed world. With its sociological vantage and strong commitment to historical explanation, the book illuminates an important, previously unseen vista for understanding this Romantic poet's representations of death and grief and significantly reframes the cultural dynamics of the Romantic period in Britain.

“Although much of Buried Communities is familiar, the treatment is comprehensive, the thesis well-defined, and it contributes significantly to understanding Wordworth’s pervasive engagement with death.” — Wordsworth Circle

Buried Communities is a valuable and provocative addition to the scholarship on death and mourning in Wordsworth. Because Fosso claims the paradigm of ‘the Dead’ is applicable throughout the poet’s life … Fosso’s book will inspire further research and writing.” — ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews

"In a volume teeming with scholarship … [Fosso] convinces that the paradigm of mournful community is a valid companion to memory, myth, the sublime, nature, and tragic narrative as a thematic approach to the poet’s work … Highly recommended." ― CHOICE

"Grounded in the entire archive of Wordsworth poetry and criticism, written with clarity and rhetorical sophistication, pursuing a thematic analysis across a variety of difficult texts, and relying upon careful close readings, Buried Communities usefully updates the virtues of an older critical tradition and represents a signal contribution to Wordsworth studies." — Pacific Coast Philology

"This is an important book. It is refreshing to find an argument that proceeds neatly and reasonably from the combination of good critical sense, an insightful theoretical framework, and an intelligent close reading of texts. Fosso has considered just about every resource that bears on his study, both on the Wordsworth side and on the side of the larger sociological and psychological aspects of grief and mourning. He gets right to the heart of a genuinely interesting subject." — Stephen C. Behrendt, author of Royal Mourning and Regency Culture: Elegies and Memorials of Princess Charlotte

Kurt Fosso is Associate Professor of English at Lewis & Clark College.


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Table of Contents

Preface

Abbreviations and Editions

Introduction

1. A "World of Shades": The Birth of Community in the Juvenilia

2. Grief and Dwelling in the Cambridge Poems, including An Evening Walk

3. Genre, Politics, and Community in the Salisbury Plain Poems

4. Shades of Mourning and the One Life in The Ruined Cottage

5. Elegies, Epitaphs, and Legacies of Loss in Lyrical Ballads

6. Grieving and Dwelling in the Five-Book Prelude and Home at Grasmere

7. "A New Controul" in Poems in Two Volumes and The Excursion

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index



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