By A. C. Goodson (eds.)
This collation from S. T. Coleridge's contributions to the speculation of language offers an impressive revision of the enlightenment method of language. decisions from his verse, notebooks, journalism and ephemera are prepared below headings together with the language of politics; language and tradition; the language of poetry; concept of language; phrases and issues; organ of language; and the language of faith. The editor's advent situates Coleridge's pondering in its interval, and with sleek idea in mind.
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Extra resources for On Language
He says what he wants to say, by any means, near or more remote, within his reach. He makes use of the most common or scientific terms, of the longest or shortest sentences, of the plainest and most downright, or of the most figurative modes of speech. He gives for the most part loose reins to his imagination, and follows it as far as the language will carry him. As long as the one or the other has any resources in store to make the reader feel and see the thing as he has conceived it, - in its nicest shade of difference, in its utmost degree of force and splendour, - he never disdains, and never fails to employ them.
Wilder Features characterize the second Class. Sufficiently possessed of natural Sense to despise the Priest, and of natural Feeling to hate the Oppressor, they listen only to the inflammatory harangues of some mad-headed Enthusiast, and imbibe from them Poison, not Food, Rage not Liberty. Unillumined by Philosophy and stimulated to a lust of Revenge by aggravated wrongs, they would make the Altar of Freedom stream with blood, while the grass grew in the desolated Halls of Justice. These men are the rude Materials from which a detestable Minister manufactures Conspiracies.
For to treat the subject with the clearness and coherence, of which I believe it susceptible, it would be necessary to give a full account of the public taste in this country, and to 38 Language and Culture determine how far this taste is healthy or depraved: which again could not be determined, without pointing out, in what manner language and the human mind act and react on each other, and without retracing the revolutions not of literature alone but likewise of society itself. I have therefore altogether declined to enter regularly upon this defence; yet I am sensible, that there would be some impropriety in abruptly obtruding upon the Public, without a few words of introduction, Poems so materially different from those, upon which general approbation is at present bestowed.