Abstract

Abstract:

George Berkeley’s writings are usually read straightforwardly as works of idealist philosophy, but it is remarkable how frequently critics also label his prose “poetic” or “lyrical.” I argue that we can begin to account for this intangible “poetic” quality in Berkeley’s writing by paying attention to his prose rhythm. Moving beyond George Saintsbury’s 1912 attempt at a metrical scansion of Berkeley’s prose, I closely read Berkeley’s writing alongside contemporary understandings of prose rhythm, thus reinstating a sense of him as a skilled literary writer, one who thought about the sounds as well as the senses of words.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 336-349
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-29
Open Access
No
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