Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Coleridge's Interpretation of Wordsworth's Preface to Lyrical Ballads

Bialostosky, Don H (1978) Coleridge's Interpretation of Wordsworth's Preface to Lyrical Ballads. Publications of the Modern Language Association [PMLA], 93 (5). 912 - 924. ISSN 0030-8129

[img] Plain Text (licence)
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (1kB)


Although Coleridge's interpretation of Wordsworth's Preface has shaped subsequent understanding of Wordsworth's meaning, Coleridge was out not to clarify but to refute Wordsworth. His discussion of the Preface repeatedly shifts the positions to which it objects and misleadingly distinguishes between what the Preface can legitimately be taken to mean and what it probably does mean. It distorts Wordsworth's account of his choice of subjects and his comments on poetic language. Although intelligible meanings can be discovered for Wordsworth's remarks about "the real language of men" and the lack of "essential difference" between the languages of verse and prose, Coleridge's exegesis reduces them to absurdity. The position he offers in opposition to the one he draws from the Preface closely resembles the one Wordsworth actually put forward there. The real agreements and disagreements between Wordsworth's and Coleridge's views are more interesting than those to which Coleridge's interpretation has called attention.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bialostosky, Don Hdhb2@pitt.eduDHB2
Date: 1978
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Publications of the Modern Language Association [PMLA]
Volume: 93
Number: 5
Publisher: Modern Language Association
Page Range: 912 - 924
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0030-8129
Official URL:
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2012 21:09
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 05:08


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item