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Chapter 5 - The ‘Postscript’

from Part I - General

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2023

Charles Martindale
Affiliation:
University of Bristol
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Affiliation:
University of York
Lene Østermark-Johansen
Affiliation:
University of Copenhagen
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Summary

This chapter opens with a discussion of Pater’s repurposing of his ‘Romanticism’ essay as the ‘Postscript’ to Appreciations, focusing on the consequences of the paratextual status of this piece in relation to the preceding essays in the volume. Turning to the conception of ‘romanticism’ advanced in the ‘Postscript’, the chapter explores Pater’s non-English examples of romantic writing and what they may tell us about his understanding of English literature and its study. It also touches on a number of responses to Pater’s work, some tacit and venerable, such as T. E. Hulme’s ‘Romanticism and Classicism’, others more avowed and recent, such as Angela Leighton’s appreciations of aspects of Pater’s style. At a number of points, it examines the verbal peculiarities of the Postscript, both to indicate its difference from the earlier ‘Romanticism’ essay and to bring out certain features of Pater’s habits of thinking. The chapter ends with a discussion of the aims of the coda Pater added to ‘Romanticism’ and with which he completed the ‘Postscript’ – and thereby, the whole of Appreciations.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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