Browning's Experiments with Genre

By Donald S. Hair

© 1972

One of the chief characteristics of nineteenth-century poetics was a tendency to test the conventions and techniques of literary genres by shifting, modifying, and combining various styles and forms. Browning fully exploited these changes, because his interests and purposes as a poet seemed to demand more of the lyric, the dramatic, and the narrative than these kinds had traditionally been able to perform. His fascination was with the development of the individual soul and he was determined to evoke in his readers his own insights into the complexity of human concerns; thus he became a constant experimenter with genre. Browning never felt that any experiment, however unsatisfactory the result, was wasted effort; each direction tried made him better prepared to attempt another.

This book explores the kinds and modes with which he worked and describes the nature of the experiments he made, concentrating on the earlier poetry and in particular on The Ring and the Book. Professor Hair is sensitive to Browning's work, and his criticism is a model of understanding, warm appreciation, and critical good sense.

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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 220 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP005056

  • PUBLISHED DEC 1972

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    Regular Price: $27.95

    ISBN 9781487591243
  • PUBLISHED DEC 1972

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Quick Overview

This book explores the kinds and modes with which Browning worked and describes the nature of the experiments he made, concentrating on the earlier poetry and in particular on The Ring and the Book.

Browning's Experiments with Genre

By Donald S. Hair

© 1972

One of the chief characteristics of nineteenth-century poetics was a tendency to test the conventions and techniques of literary genres by shifting, modifying, and combining various styles and forms. Browning fully exploited these changes, because his interests and purposes as a poet seemed to demand more of the lyric, the dramatic, and the narrative than these kinds had traditionally been able to perform. His fascination was with the development of the individual soul and he was determined to evoke in his readers his own insights into the complexity of human concerns; thus he became a constant experimenter with genre. Browning never felt that any experiment, however unsatisfactory the result, was wasted effort; each direction tried made him better prepared to attempt another.

This book explores the kinds and modes with which he worked and describes the nature of the experiments he made, concentrating on the earlier poetry and in particular on The Ring and the Book. Professor Hair is sensitive to Browning's work, and his criticism is a model of understanding, warm appreciation, and critical good sense.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 220 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Donald S. Hair is a Professor in the Department of English, University of Western Ontario, and author of Tennyson's Language, Domestic and Heroic in Tennyson's Poetry, and Browning's Experiments with Genre.

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