Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Arabian Nights in Historical ContextBetween East and West$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Saree Makdisi and Felicity Nussbaum

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554157

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554157.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 November 2019

Coleridge and the Oriental Tale

Coleridge and the Oriental Tale

Chapter:
(p.213) 9 Coleridge and the Oriental Tale
Source:
The Arabian Nights in Historical Context
Author(s):

Tim Fulford (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554157.003.0010

This chapter argues that, contra the verdict of Edward Said in Orientalism, English writers—the Romantics at least—did not treat the Arabian Nights as mere children's stories or sources of exotic imagery. The chapter shows that Coleridge made admiration of the Nights a badge of Romantic poets, a sign of the “imagination” that he made their defining characteristic—in other words a key part of the Romantic Ideology he, and others, set out in order to advance their claims as revolutionary poets. The chapter shows that Coleridge engaged with the Nights not just (or even principally) at the level of content, but more profoundly at the level of form. Specifically, he developed from the Nights the form of the verse-tale that is discernible in “The Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan,” an anti-realist form that he used to free poetry from the need to illustrate the world as it is and instead compose that world differently. In the 1790s, the chapter argues, this Nights-derived poetic allowed him to write radical re-imaginings of contemporary social mores.

Keywords:   Coleridge, De Quincey, Orientalism, poetry, Edward Said, Romanticism, imagination, Kubla Khan, Ancient Mariner

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .