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Forms of 'Anxiety' in the Anglo-American Poetic Tradition: Keats and Dickinson in Imaginary Conversation

TAN, YUANXING (2021) Forms of 'Anxiety' in the Anglo-American Poetic Tradition: Keats and Dickinson in Imaginary Conversation. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Drawing on Heidegger’s conception of ‘dwelling’ and ‘being’, my thesis introduces different forms of ‘anxiety’ with regards to existential philosophy present in poetic language. Focused on the work of two major poets in the Anglo-American tradition, my thesis offers a comparative reading of the treatment of anxiety in the poetry of John Keats and Emily Dickinson. My thesis approaches the term ‘anxiety’ not as a form of despair, but as a mood of uncertainty and a continuous state of being in relation to these poets’ dialogue with existence, desire, and death, as well as spirituality, nature and imagination. The research sheds light on a new understating of anxiety as it manifests itself in both Keats and Dickinson’s poetry, which is articulated through ideas about the role of anxiety drawn from Heidegger’s philosophy. Consequently, Heidegger’s ideas provide a critical lens, which helps to articulate the various forms of anxiety present in the poetics of Keats and Dickinson. My intention is to demonstrate how anxiety finds expression in poetic language, and in turn how poetry can both intensify and find possible resolutions to the problem of anxiety in the writings of Keats and Dickinson. My thesis hopes to demonstrate how Keats and Dickinson’s modes of anxiety, ultimately, centre on questions of poetic identity and posthumous legacy.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Keats; Dickinson; Anxiety; Transatlantic; Anglo-American
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Feb 2022 09:55

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