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A Companion to Victorian Poetry : Richard Cronin, : : Blackwell's

Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery on millions of eligible domestic and international items, in addition to exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and more. Back to top. To do this, I use network analysis techniques to examine the forces and relationships among poets, publishers, and reviewers that constituted part of what Bourdieu calls the field of cultural production for Victorian poetry.

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The Visual Page as Interface uses image analysis software to examine the graphic codes of page layout. I began this work by using bio-medical imaging software to analyze digitized page images.

I have been conducting exploratory data analysis of features extracted from the page images, such as line length, line indentation, and the ratio of text to white space in books of Victorian poetry. This analysis can be used to identify unique or representative items in large document collections, to identify historical trends in page design, and to locate items with particular visual features.

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The topic of poetry and religion seems least congenial to Cronin. After offering an overview of Tractarian reserve in relation to John Keble 's The Christian Year and Christina Rossetti's minimalist devotional verse a mode taken further by Emily Dickinson , he turns away from theology, denominational differences, and Christian community to focus again on the alienated self.

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He is unpersuaded by Robert Browning 's representation of commitment to Christian community in Christmas-Eve , finding the style and mode ill-suited to theology, nor does he linger to explore its relation to the companion poem Easter Day. Instead he prefers "An Epistle Karshish, he ultimately argues, is yet another poet-figure who cannot square his observations of the physical world with feelings that contradict them.

Moreover, Cronin asserts, "Browning is quietly intimating that the miracle of the incarnation that alone makes sense of human life is shadowed in the writing of each and every successful poem, because the incarnation and poetry both have the power to convert a world of contingency into a world of meaning" --a statement that both Brownings might have found somewhat blasphemous.

Cronin's is a robustly agnostic, post-Victorian reading of religion and poetry, and he ultimately contends that the best Evangelical poetry of the era is represented by the evangels of unbelief, whether Arthur Hugh Clough in Dipsychus or Swinburne in "Ave Atque Vale.

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Some of Cronin's statements will prompt questions. Does Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Runaway Slave at Pilgrim's Point" truly imply that the runaway has traversed the ground from a slave-holding state to Plymouth Rock in a single night? Ought Davidson's increasing immersion in the philosophy of Nietzsche after to be mentioned in relation to the poet's disdain for the crowd in "The Crystal Palace," which appeared in , not ? But Cronin's work can certainly be recommended to undergraduates and to scholars familiar with Cronin's other work who will want to revisit his keen critical intelligence and mobile prose.

The larger narrative he offers of Victorian poetry--a body of work notable for self-division and marginalization--remains, moreover, the dominant narrative today.