Monday, May 16, 2005

Notes from Harbus: The Old English elegies, psychology, and memory

From Harbus, Antonina. The Life of the Mind in Old English Poetry. Costerus New Series 143. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2002.

"It may be suggested, however, that the most prominent single rhetorical feature of characteristic organising principle of the Old English elegies is their personalized psychological focus. Although an interest in the life of the mind is perceptible in most other sections of the poetic corpus, these poems broach the subject in a unique way: by projecting mental anguish onto the external world; by characterizing the mind itself as an animated entity distinct from and in some tension with the self; and by deploying memory in conscious spiritual development" (129).

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