Crooked Lines and Moving Targets1
The Introduction explains the combination of a narrative arc and conceptual structure in the organization of the book. The former, primarily diachronic, discussion is concerned with the development of the field of Romanticism since the 1980s, presented through both a review of scholarship and exemplary readings of well-known lyric poems. The latter, predominantly synchronic, presentation entails an argument for the analytical value of field theories of form—that is, frameworks drawn from early modern philosophy (Spinoza) and postclassical life- and physical sciences, especially models of self-organization. As an alternative to the external, retrospective perspective provided by, for example, Rita Felski in The Limits of Critique, it draws on the work of Martin Heidegger, Pierre Macherey, and the poet-critic J. H. Prynne to offer a conjunctural approach.
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