Abstract

This essay brings Samuel Taylor Coleridge's critical writing into dialogue with his theological thought in order to argue for a latent theory of engaged but critical reception of dramatic performance in Coleridge's famous phrase "the willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith" from Book XIV of the Biographia Literaria. However, the politics and social strife surrounding the romantic stage render Coleridge's theoretical position vexed and ambivalent. After suggesting that "poetic faith" allows for a deep encounter with a work of art that can potentially reach across ideological divides without surrendering the capacity for intervention and social critique, the essay examines how Coleridge's anxiety over his own past and politics cause him to fail in implementing this new critical theory in his embittered review of Charles Robert Maturin's Bertram.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2052
Print ISSN
0042-5222
Pages
pp. 241-249
Launched on MUSE
2007-08-06
Open Access
No
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