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Thinking Through StyleNon-Fiction Prose of the Long Nineteenth Century$
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Michael D. Hurley and Marcus Waithe

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737827

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737827.001.0001

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‘A Hare in every Nettle’

‘A Hare in every Nettle’

Coleridge’s Prose

Chapter:
(p.11) 1 ‘A Hare in every Nettle’
Source:
Thinking Through Style
Author(s):

James Engell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198737827.003.0002

Coleridge’s prose represents the trace and track of his mind in action. It records the intricate processes, the inner workshop of thinking and feeling: fertile, at times rapid, at times digressing, working not so much by direct lines as by sideways and encompassing motions, though always towards a goal, yet willing to put aside that goal, at least temporarily, for a richer one discovered on the way. In notebooks, letters, essays, criticism, journalism, religious and spiritual writing, in arguments against slavery and child labour—always displaying a wealth and love of words in their richness and distinctions (and coining many of his own that have entered the language)—his prose registers no formulated catechism of thought. He writes in multiple styles. His compositions embody a flexible method subsuming all his powers. Coleridge’s prose is an acquired taste but one worth acquiring.

Keywords:   coinage, revision, androgyny, collaboration, dictation, marginalia, images, pun, humour, associative

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