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The Beauty of InflectionsLiterary Investigations in Historical Method and Theory$
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Jerome J. McGann

Print publication date: 1988

Print ISBN-13: 9780198117506

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117506.001.0001

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The Religious Poetry of Christina Rossetti

The Religious Poetry of Christina Rossetti

(p.232) 2. The Religious Poetry of Christina Rossetti
The Beauty of Inflections

Jerome J. McGann

Oxford University Press

One of the difficulties which an explicitly Christian poem, or artwork, presents for criticism is its appearance of thematic uniformity. Readers of such a poem frequently seem to think that the ideas are transcendent rather than historically particular. The enormous revival of interest in Christian and even Catholic poetry which began in the Modern Period and which flourished with New Criticism did not take any serious account of the work of Christina Rossetti. This chapter asks why is it that not a single critic associated with the New Critical movement ever wrote anything about Christina Rossetti. Fortunately, the ultimate marginality of Rossetti 's particular Christian stance was to become the source of its final strength, the privilege of its historical backwardness.

Keywords:   Christian poetry, New Criticism, religious poetry, Modernism, Christina Rossetti

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